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Wind Farm and Energy Storage Project at the Raglan Mine, Nunavik: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

 


Project location: Nunavik, Canada
Client: Glencore
Project Value : $300,000 (first phase)

Located at the Raglan Mine (part of the Glencore Group) in Katinniq, the new three-megawatt turbine is the result (in part) of an environmental, social and cultural impact study conducted by WSP focusing on renewable energy sources.

Project Challenge

Resource availability and prices are key concerns in Northern locations, where fuel is extremely expensive and where transportation infrastructures are tested daily by the elements. Harnessing the wind in such a remote location brings a powerful strategic advantage to forward-thinking companies, but building the first wind farm project in Arctic conditions is no small feat.

Project Outcome

WSP conducted the initial consultations and hearings in 2013. Permitting (including Environmental Impact Assessment) was completed in 2014, so was the first wind tower.

To make this possible for Glencore, not only was good engineering necessary, but also the careful consultation of land users and surrounding communities, which WSP conducted.

Opting for wind power, the client, Tugliq Energy Co., and the mine decided on a model equipped with heated blades and adapted to the Arctic climate (it is capable of withstanding blizzards of over 120 km/h and can produce energy in temperatures as low as -40°C). The idea underlying this change of direction was to find an alternative to excessive diesel consumption and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the mine. That goal, in fact, has already been reached: over the past seven months, diesel consumption was down by 1 million litres while greenhouse gas emissions were down by 2,600 tons.