Diavik’s commitment to use four 2.3-megawatt wind turbines at the mine site in order to reduce diesel consumption by 10 per cent (four million litres) and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – a first for Rio Tinto or any other mining company in the world.
This is a business decision, pure and simple. But it will have reverberations across the North and for other industrial operations and communities not connected to a conventional power grid. And like any business decision, Diavik thought this through very carefully. It spent three years collecting wind data, researching wind turbines and designing the project.
The mine’s initiative is beginning to reshape public- and private-sector thinking about wind energy in the NWT. Diavik donated its weather tower to local companies Det’on Cho Earth Energy and Ryfan Wind, and has offered to share its know-how in wind-power engineering, project management and operations and maintenance with the territorial government and the NWT Power Corp.
Unlike the NWT, Alaskan communities have ventured into wind energy is a big way. The state has a combined 12.65 MW of community-scale wind-diesel systems operating in 16 communities. The NWT has noneClick here to edit the content10