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LOCAL NEWS

Yellowknife has dozens of power failures this year

Yellowknife has dozens of power failures this year

CBC News
Northland Utilities says lightning strikes, ravens and transmission failures have caused more than 50 outages so far this year.

As of Wednesday, Northland Utilities said there had been 52 unplanned outages in 2012. Another blackout hit the city that afternoon.

A spokesperson for Northland Utilities, Dwayne Morgan, said there are many reasons for the blackouts, including lightning strikes, ravens and transmission failures.

But he said the biggest challenge is that only one power line supplies the city with electricity, making it vulnerable to failures.

Morgan said at a cost of around $1 billion dollars to build a backup line, Yellowknife won't be getting one any time soon.

"Wherever you're from you can look at it and say, listen, there's a power plant here, a power plant here, a power plant here, and it's driven by the population base and by the industry that happens in the region" Morgan said.

"We just don't have that up here. The need is not there yet. So we have a single-source hydro system ."

The Northwest Territories Power Corporation supplies power to Northland Utilities. Both companies said they're working to improve and protect the system from frost, animals and falling trees.

Morgan said when it comes to who's responsible for the blackouts it's essentially a fifty-fifty split.

He said city-wide blackouts tend to be caused by the Power Corporation. He said Northland Utilities is often to blame for localized, neighbourhood-specific outages.

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