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Mr. Speaker, the Government of the Northwest Territories is committed to strengthening our leadership and authority on climate change as well as enhancing efforts to stabilize the cost of power and increase the use of alternative and renewable energy. As part of these commitments, our government has made almost $26 million in energy-related investments this past year, which are highlighted in the 2019-20 Energy Initiatives Report, which was released in January.
Designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide reliable energy to our communities and stabilize energy costs for residents, the projects highlighted in the initiatives report support the goals set in the Northwest Territories’ 2030 Energy Strategy.
Some of these projects include the ongoing work being done by our partner, the Arctic Energy Alliance, or AEA. With federal funding from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, the AEA launched a series of new and enhanced programs. Some of these help lower-income homeowners winterize their homes, and others provide rebates on new electric vehicles and energy efficient products. In fact, this past year, AEA doubled the amount of rebates provided to households.
Mr. Speaker, the GNWT also continues to roll out the Greenhouse Gas Grant Program. This year, $274 thousand was awarded to a northern-owned plumbing and heating company in Yellowknife. The company will install a wood pellet boiler district heating system that will supply heat to its headquarters and the GNWT central warehouse. This system also has the potential to connect to other private commercial buildings in the area. Once complete, this project is expected to displace over 190 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and save 60 thousand litres of oil annually.
Mr. Speaker, progress was also made this year with the proposed Taltson Hydro Expansion project. This project has the potential to displace greenhouse gas emissions, while supporting efforts to stabilize the cost of energy, and create significant opportunities for Indigenous participation and benefits and employment opportunities for all Northerners.
As part of the GNWT’s assessment for the Taltson expansion, the GNWT has signed an agreement with the Arctic Research Foundation to map two potential submarine transmission line routes on the lakebed of Great Slave Lake. As identified in the Energy Initiatives Report, the expedition included the participation of students from Łutselk’e and the Yellowknife area, who received hands-on training from scientists and local crew in advanced mapping technology and marine vessel operation. Hopefully, these students will use this experience to inspire new and creative solutions for our future.
Mr. Speaker, the GNWT is setting the stage for other ambitious energy projects. One example is the Inuvik Wind Project, another key initiative under the 2030 Energy Strategy. The project will see a 3.5-megawatt wind turbine installed, reducing diesel consumption in our largest off-grid community by up to 30%. Late last year we secured a land use permit and water license from the Gwich’in Land and Water Board. The GNWT looks forward to advancing this project to the construction phase, realizing its environmental, economic and regional benefits.
Mr. Speaker, these are just some examples of the exciting energy projects happening across the territory today.
The GNWT will continue to engage directly with communities and Indigenous governments and organizations to ensure their participation, partnership, and empowerment when proposing and implementing energy solutions.
We all have a role to play in making sure that the NWT meets its climate change objectives. Through government support and individual action, we can make it happen.
Quana, Mr. Speaker