17kW is a pretty small generator. I assume this facility is relatively small?. It could be what is called a ‘life safety’ generator which powers emergency egress lighting in the building. Here in the states life safety generators must be tested and maintained on a regular schedule.
Even if the generator is set to exercise once a week, the problem is that the generator idles with no load. Assuming this is a diesel fueled unit and it doesn’t carry building load very often (if utility is reliable) then the generator could be ‘wet-stacking’ which is caused by not having enough load on the generator and it never gets hot enough. This can cause excess moisture and reduced engine life. An additional problem could be diesel fuel is not being polished or maintained and the fuel is bad. For this reason the generator needs to be load banked at high load regularly and the fuel needs to be tested and polished under a maintenance regimen.
I’m not too familiar with Canadian codes, but here in the states facility owners can be held legally responsible/liable if the emergency generator is not maintained and doesn’t operate when needed during an emergency. The regulations on maintenance and testing are under the NFPA life safety codes.
If the facility is old Id recommend the facility hire a licensed electrical engineer to survey the electrical system. They can also make recommendations to address code deficiencies and help with permitting and drawings if the generator needs to be replaced. If a new generator is needed it wouldn’t be a bad idea to assess what (if any) other building loads the facility wants backed up on the generator.