Renewable Energy

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The NWT has many remote communities that do not have access to the electrical grid. Several renewable technologies are proven to save money and reduce Greenhouse Gas generation.

Solar Electricity


Solar panels should face south where they will maximize the sunlight at an angle as close to latitude as possible.

Cost Recovery

Solar panels are a relatively expensive way to reduce your electricity bill.  Before installing solar panels, investigate other options to reduce energy usage. There are many easy and cost effective ways to reduce energy use in your home, such as changing your lighting to LED, replacing older appliances with Energy Star® ones, and using high efficiency fans, motors and pumps in mechanical systems.

Solar Energy

Solar PV panels are the most commonly used solar technology in the NWT.  Solar hot water systems are also being used to preheat water before it goes to the water heater.

Funding for solar is available through the Alternative Energy Technologies Program.

Wind Energy


Not all locations are optimal for wind, have a survey done of your location before going ahead with an installation.


Wind turbines can produce a lot of noise and therefore may not be suitable for many urban enviroments.  New technologies are being developed that are reducing the noise problem.

Wind turbines are available in incrementally increasing sizes to scale to your needs.

Funding for turbines is available through the Alternative Energy Technologies Program.

Micro Hydro


Micro hydro units are restricted to a narrow set of locational parameters. Units require either high head pressure (pressure caused by a large drop in elevation for the water) or high flow (large amounts of water flow). 


The intake point must be below the freezing threshold or come from a site where the water is moving fast enough to not freeze during the winter. Water must be moving constantly through the pipes to prevent freezing. In the northern climate there can be potential needs to heat or insulate the turbine. This may require a small mechanical room where the turbine is housed and kept at a low temperature to prevent freezing. Reaction turbines (which use high flow versus high head pressure) are more susceptible to freezing because the diverted water tends to move slowly through its canal.

Flooding can damage your micro hydro system therefore there is a need to mitigate the risk of flooding in the initial installation.

Combining Technologies

Hydro technology combines well with wind turbines or solar panels to provide constant power generation.

Funding for micro hydro is available through the Alternative Energy Technologies Program.

Other Resources

Solar Photovoltaic Energy (Natural Resources Canada)