Enercon wind turbines for the Arctic

Tugliq Energy is nearing the finish line on a C$22.6m single-turbine wind-diesel-storage pilot project in Nunavik, located in the northernmost tip of the province.

“We anticipate we’re going to begin generating electricity by mid-August,” said Tugliq president and CEO Pierre Rivard.

The project will help Glencore’s Raglan nickel-copper mine, situated on a barren plateau some 800 kilometers north of the tree line, reduce diesel fuel consumption by 2.5 million liters a year.

It will also serve as a model the province hopes to roll out to remote Inuit communities and industrial operations that are not connected to the Hydro-Québec electrical grid. The current cost of electricity is C$0.75/kWh to C$1.50/kWh in many parts of Nunavik.

The province provided a C$6.5m grant to the project. The Canadian government contributed C$720,000 for a front-end engineering design study

Enercon supplied a 3MW E-82 turbine and 86-meter steel tower, which were shipped to Deception Bay then trucked 90 kilometers inland to the mine. The German manufacturer’s cold climate version includes oversized components, heated blades and an elevator.

Enercon also developed a unique foundation for the site conditions.

“With the permafrost being subject to global warming in the Arctic we couldn’t rely on a conventional gravity-base concrete foundation,” said Rivard.

A steel-base foundation is elevated about a meter and mounted on piles drilled 13 meters into the ground.

The turbine will be connected to the mine’s existing 1.8MW diesel generator. It will also link to three different storage technologies: a flywheel, a lithium-ion battery bank and an electrolyser-compressed hydrogen unit.

The project will have a capacity factor in the 36% range, said Rivard. If all goes well with the demonstration scheme, Tugliq aims to install three to five additional turbines in a few years.