Continued progress on securing Yukon’s energy future

As Submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, December 5, 2014 by Minister responsible for Yukon Development Corporation Scott Kent

It’s no secret that the provision of reliable, affordable, clean energy is an issue of utmost importance for all Yukoners. With the release of Yukon Development Corporation (YDC)’s hydroelectric power work plan earlier this year, the Yukon government continues to outline exactly how we plan to address this need. The document was the first step in the comprehensive investigation of a new large-scale hydroelectric power facility for Yukon.

I’m pleased that yet another step has been taken forward on the path to securing power for Yukon’s future needs. Midgard Consulting Inc. has completed the first phase of a site screening process, narrowing the options for potential locations for new hydro-power facilities in Yukon to 16. In partnership with Midgard, YDC hosted a stakeholder workshop and public event for Yukoners to learn about the potential sites and what makes them the most favourable options at this time.

Thank you to all who attended. It is important that we work together to ensure a project of this scale and importance to Yukoners’ quality of life can go forward, and provides opportunities for the public to learn about the government of Yukon’s long-term vision for clean energy. A second stakeholder workshop and public event will take place on January 29-30, 2015, and I encourage Yukoners to participate in the event and inform themselves about our energy options.

While we plan for an expansion in new hydro facilities, we continue to invest in Yukon’s electrical transmission infrastructure. In fact, just this week an announcement was made on a $5.3 million project to improve transmission infrastructure in central Yukon. YDC will work with its wholly-owned subsidiary Yukon Energy Corporation to advance the project through permitting and preliminary engineering processes during the next several months. The project will upgrade the line between Keno City and Stewart Crossing from 69 kV to 138 kV. Substation improvements related to the project will also be addressed. This will enable future growth in the area while improving the reliability of the electrical grid as a whole.

With the Yukon government providing funding for the project, it is ensured that system improvements can be made without any impact on electrical rates. Initial work is expected to begin early in 2015. Yukon Energy has also announced plans to complete the work to select a site for a five to ten megawatt wind farm.

Access to affordable electricity is integral to the daily lives of Yukoners and the continued economic development of the territory. I look forward to updating the public as we take the next step in securing Yukon’s energy future with clean, reliable hydroelectric power.

Scott Kent

Minister responsible for Yukon Development Corporation