Mechanical issue at Kuujjuaq power station resolved

An unspecified mechanical issue which caused a large cloud of smoke to emerge from Kuujjuaq’s power station Sunday evening was resolved within hours, according to Hydro-Québec spokesperson Cendrix Bouchard.

Bouchard told Nunatsiaq News Monday morning that there was no fire at the power station.

The mechanical issue was repaired by Hydro-Québec workers in the community hours after the issue was identified.

“We do have crews that are going to be there today in order to make sure that if there’s any additional work to be done, it is done,” Bouchard said, adding he did not have the specifics of what the mechanical issue was or why it caused a visibly large cloud of smoke.

The situation at the power station yesterday prompted Kuujjuaq Mayor Mary Johannes to advise households in the community to cut back on excess electricity use, such as Christmas lights.

That was a precautionary measure to prevent a power outage, Bouchard said.

Johannes said she was happy to hear that the situation at the power station was resolved quickly.

“They fixed the problem so they’re all back to normal now,” Johannes told Nunatsiaq News.

Kuujjuaq gets its power from a 6.6-megwatt off-grid diesel generator owned and operated by Hydro Quebec. Like other Nunavik communities, Kuujjuaq is not connected to the province’s electricity grid. Off-grid diesel-fuelled generation is a common way to create power in northern and remote communities.

Jeff Pelletier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News