Wind energy is a renewable energy resource that can help off-set diesel use in remote communities and industrial sites where the cost of importing fuel is high. Use of wind energy in harsh climates is on the rise. The Department of Public Works and Services offers several funding programs for wind energy development and testing in the NWT.
With funding from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), the Aurora Research Institute has monitored wind speeds across many Northwest Territories communities since 2005. Wind pre-feasibility and energy assessments are available for a number of communities throughout the Northwest Territories, including favourable wind feasibility studies in Tuktoyaktuk, Ulukhaktok, Sachs Harbour and Inuvik.
In 2012, Diavik Diamond Mine completed a 9.2 megawatt wind project at their mine site. Four turbines were constructed and have shown diesel consumption reductions of 10%, saving approximately $6 million a year on diesel costs. This wind project is the first remote industrial application of wind technology and proves the cost-effectiveness of wind energy solutions for remote industrial use.