MOVEMENT TOWARDS RENEWABLE ENERGY IN NUNAVIK, QUÉBEC'S NORTH
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By Cori Marshall
Energy production in the Northern Villages (NV) of Nunavik, the northernmost part of Québec, mirrors that of the communities in Nunavut. All power provided to the communities is produced by diesel generators supplied by Crown Corporations. Like the population in the rest of the province, the villages of Nunavik are serviced by Hydro-Québec.
To find out what the possibilities for future green energy productions are in Nunavik we reached out to Hydro-Québec. We were able to communicate via email with Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Spokesperson Public Affairs and Media for the provincial crown corporation.
There is movement towards renewable energy projects. Pouliot said that Hydro-Québec "will undertake to convert (at least partly) all off-grid systems to cleaner and less costly energy." He added that they "will launch requests for proposals (RFP) for all systems by 2020."
Hydro-Québec believes that renewable energy production may be more cost effective "with the development of effective technology in renewable energy."
There is a desire within the communities to move toward renewable energy sources, Pouliot said "the Makivik Corporation, a group of 15 communities, recently created Tarquti Energy," that will produce cleaner energy in the area.
Tarquti Energy was formed out of a joint venture between Makivik Corporation and the Fédération des Cooperatives du Nouveau Québec (FCNQ). The announcement made in February stated that the new company would work "together with the local Landholding Corporations, and local Co-ops." Tarquti is looking into the possibilities of wind, solar and tidal power.
The desire for a cleaner form of energy is demonstrated in the village of Inukjuak. Mayor Pauloosie J. Kasudluak said that a "landholding corporation has been trying to build a dam on the river." He added that "they are pretty close to succeeding." The project has been underway for about a decade.
The federal Budget 2017 allotted $2 billion over 11 years "for a broad range of infrastructure projects." Included in the projects would be "the renewal and replacement of energy systems in northern communities so that remote communities can reduce their reliance on diesel," like the hydro-electric project nearing completion in Inukjuak.
We have looked at energy production and the possibility for renewable energy across some of Canada's most remote areas. Almost 100% of all electricity produced in the north is generated using diesel fuel. All of the communities desire cleaner energy for a number of reasons, the primary barrier preventing the villages from moving forward is finances.