Taltson Hydroelectricity

Taltson Hydro Expansion Project

The Taltson Hydro Expansion Project will expand the existing Taltson generating station and integrate the Northwest Territories’ hydro capacity into one hydro grid. This strategic initiative will provide a clean energy solution for the mineral-rich Slave Geological Province and support the electrification of communities.

Quick Facts

  • The Taltson River system has 200 megawatts (MW) of electrical generation potential.
  • A 60 MW expansion of Taltson could remove up to 240,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
  • A new transmission line will connect the Taltson system to the North Slave hydro system, enhancing overall reliability.

Project Phases

  1. Add 60 MW of capacity to the existing Taltson hydro system and connect to the Snare hydro system with a transmission line.
  2. Provide clean hydro energy to the Slave Geological Province and resource sectors north and south of Great Slave Lake.
  3. Integrate the NWT electrical grid to Alberta or Saskatchewan.

Project Highlights

  • The Taltson project is part of an all-in-one infrastructure corridor, covering transportation, energy and communications, that would provide clean hydro energy to the mineral-rich Slave Geological Province.
  • Initial expansion will add 60 MW to the existing 18 MW facility on the Taltson River and a new transmission line into the Yellowknife area. The design will prioritize minimizing environmental impacts, and result in no new flooding.
  • A single hydro grid will support industry and transportation sectors to transition away from fossil fuels by providing access to clean energy north and south of Great Slave Lake.
  • Once built, an integrated hydro system connecting the Snare system and the Taltson hydro system will stabilize electricity rates for 11 communities and over 70% of the NWT population.
  • The project offers partnership opportunities for Indigenous governments and job prospects for Northerners.

Current Status

  • Ongoing work includes developing transmission and hydro plans, fulfilling environmental responsibilities, engaging stakeholders, finalizing the project business case and establishing strong Indigenous partner relationships.
  • Since 2018, the Government of Canada has committed $20 million to the project.
  • A 2021 Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Government of the Northwest Territories, Northwest Territory Métis Nation, which includes the Fort Resolution Métis Government, Fort Smith Métis Council and Hay River Métis Government Council, and the Akaitcho Dene First Nations, which includes the Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation, Denı́nu Kų́ę́ First Nation, and Yellowknives Dene First Nation.
  • Two technically viable transmission routes are being advanced:
    • An approximately 805 km line, following existing highways around Great Slave Lake, and;
    • An approximately 320 km line from Twin Gorges to Yellowknife, with 160 km of overhead transmission and 160 km of submarine cable.