Wind Energy Monitoring at Thor Lake 2009-2010
Principal Investigator: Trimble, Annika EV (32)
Licence Number: 14614
Organization: Aurora Research Institute
Licenced Year(s): 2012 2011 2010 2009
Issued: Sep 11, 2009
Project Team: Jean-Paul Pinard (Engineer, JP Pinard Consulting), William Hurst (Technician, Aurora Research Institute), Vince Halushka (Technician, Deton'Cho ), Rick Miller (Technician, Deton'Cho )

Objective(s): The objective of this wind monitoring proposal is to quantify the wind energy potential to assess the economic feasibility of installing a wind turbine as a part of the Avalon Rare Metals Inc.

Project Description: The objective of this wind monitoring proposal is to quantify the wind energy potential to assess the economic feasibility of installing a wind turbine as a part of the Avalon Rare Metals Inc. development near Thor Lake. A mine is expected to be built in the next few years and will employ 100 people. There will be a mine, a mill and a camp and the operation is expected to demand 5 to 10 MW of electric power which will likely come from diesel with an additional possibility of hydro and wind.

A desktop study was recently completed for the Thor Lake site at the request of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation and the resulting wind analysis and modeling indicated promising wind speeds for producing wind energy at the proposed project site.

A full year of wind measurements and an economic analysis will be necessary to confirm this prediction and the viability of wind energy for the Thor Lake mine site. Activities will include:

1) Installation of wind tower and wind monitoring equipment at the proposed monitoring site:

In the pre-feasibility report a suitable site for the wind tower was identified by the Hearne Channel. Equipment will be transported to the Avalon site by barge and then transported to the actual monitoring site by ATV and trailer. The tower installation will consist of driving anchors into the ground, laying the tower and sensors out on the ground and then lifting it into place from the ground through the use of ginpole and electric winch.

The wind monitoring equipment that will be installed includes a 50m tower with 6 anemometers which will be positioned at 30m, 40m and 50m (2 at each level). All anemometers will be calibrated prior to installation. Other sensors will include a wind vane and temperature sensors.

2) Wind monitoring data collection, analysis and reporting:

The tower installation and instrumentation will be lead by the project engineer who has conducted all of the wind tower installations in the Northwest Territories to date and will be supported by a technician from the Aurora Research Institute. The engineer has been working on wind monitoring projects with Aurora Research Institute since 2004.

The site installation will be conducted with the assistance of a community member who will be trained to maintain the wind monitoring equipment and data collection at the site. The community wind monitor will visit the wind tower site monthly and maintain the monitoring site equipment. Data files will be downloaded monthly.

Wind monitoring data will be collected from the wind tower for a period of at least one year. Reporting and data management will be maintained by the Aurora Research Institute staff in conjunction with the project engineer.


The results from this study will be compiled into a wind analysis report which will be posted on the Aurora Research Institute website. Copies of the report will also be distributed to nearby community organizations and project partners, and a plain language report will be distributed for community members.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from September 14, 2009 to December 31, 2009 at the Thor Lake Mine Site.