News & Events

Check this section for Yukon Energy's latest news and coming events.

If you have questions about any of the information posted here, please contact:

Janet Patterson
Manager, Communications
Yukon Energy Corporation
Phone: (867) 393-5333
Email: janet.patterson@yec.yk.ca

News, Media Releases, Energy Supply, Environment, Partnerships
Jul 24, 2017  Comment

Yukon Energy, Northern Climate ExChange and INRS partner to study Mayo and Aishihik rivers

Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC), the Northern Climate ExChange (NCE) at Yukon College and the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), a graduate school of the University of Quebec’s network, are partnering to study climate change impacts on the Mayo and Aishihik rivers in Yukon. This three-year research project combines two grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) with funding from Yukon Energy. The total value of the project is close to $1-million with close to half of that in cash and in-kind support coming from the energy corporation. The research team will look at how long-term changes in temperature, snow, rain and permafrost may impact each river in the decades to come. This project will allow Yukon Energy to better manage water in each hydroelectric reservoir in the short term while planning for the effects of climate change over time. The research team will also develop a range of tools to allow Yukon Energy to forecast inflow in the Mayo and Aishihik hydroelectric power plants on timescales ranging from weeks to months. “This research is critical to us in terms of helping us plan for climate change and the implications on our ability to generate hydro power,” Yukon Energy president Andrew Hall said. “Because the Aishihik and Mayo facilities are key assets for us, we must be ready for any future changes in the watersheds that feed them.” “NSERC is proud to support applied research and development in high priority areas such as the environment and climate change,” said Bert van den Berg, Acting Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC. “Connecting industry with applied research expertise at Canadian colleges will result in innovative technologies to help protect our environment and improve the quality of life for Canadians”. For INRS, this project represents an opportunity to expand their research expertise into a new region where they have not previously conducted hydrologic modelling, and with new academic and private sector partners. INRS personnel will conduct research in northern hydrology and build the professional and technological capacities that will help Yukon Energy address climate change challenges. As well, INRS will train YEC professionals on the operation of an inflow forecasting system. “Climate change is already impacting Yukon rivers and lakes in ways we don’t fully understand. We’re excited to continue our work with Yukon Energy and other partners to provide tools and information and help plan for these impacts,” said Brian Horton, project coordinator, Northern Climate ExChange at Yukon College. As the project will study rivers within the traditional territories of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) and First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun (NND), Yukon Energy and the Northern Climate ExChange are working with each First Nation to determine best locations for the data collection stations. Local First Nations citizens will be invited to work as field assistance, and all data gathered through this project with be shared with the First Nations. Project researchers are heading into the field this summer to install automatic weather stations in the Mayo and Aishihik river regions. Project teams will also engage local schoolchildren in the project with presentations and interactive experiments in the fall term. This project follows from a similar three-year study of the Yukon River recently completed by NCE, Yukon Energy, Yukon Geological Survey, and other collaborators. Based on results from that project researchers estimate that over the next 30 years, Yukon River flows will increase in fall, winter, and spring months, but that the timing and volume of summer peak flows will remain relatively unchanged. Monitoring of the weather near Llewellyn Glacier is ongoing and NCE researchers have trained YEC staff in the use of the project software to ensure the models are updated with contemporary data. For more information visit: yukoncollege.yk.ca/research/hydrology About INRS : http://www.inrs.ca/english/about-us/overview-inrs For more information, contact: Michael Vernon Yukon College - Communications 867.668.8786 867.332.4722 mvernon@yukoncollege.yk.ca Janet Patterson Yukon Energy - Manager, Communications 867.393.5333 867.335.1519 janet.patterson@yec.yk.ca

News, Energy Supply, Partnerships
Jul 15, 2016  Comment

Preparing for Our Aishihik Water License Renewal

If you’ve spent time recently in the Aishihik Lake area, you may have noticed some people doing scientific research on or around the lake. Bird surveys have been taking place since April, and in late July/early August we will conduct our annual white fish studies. There’ll also be some data collected related to the river channel/banks of the Lower Aishihik River. These programs are being done in cooperation with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, and in each case one or more CAFN citizens are involved in doing the work. This research and data collection is part of the information we need for the application to renew our Aishihik hydro facility water license. Our current license expires in 2019. The Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) government and Yukon Energy are taking a new, more collaborative approach with regard to this water license renewal. We are working in partnership on proposed terms and conditions for a new license and have signed a protocol agreement for the co-management of the license renewal process. Together we have established a steering committee (one member each from CAFN and Yukon Energy) to oversee the work and provide high level guidance, and an advisory committee (of CAFN, Yukon Energy, various government departments and agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations) that makes recommendations on technical issues such as the process for collecting baseline information, lake operational alternatives, effects assessment, etc. CAFN citizens provide input to this group through a Champagne Aishihik Community Advisory Committee. Both CAFN and Yukon Energy recognize that the Aishihik hydro facility has had long term impacts on the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations people, and want to improve relationships by working together on issues related to the Aishihik reservoir/watershed. There will be opportunities for the general Yukon public to provide input into the license renewal as we move through this process. Watch here for information about upcoming public meetings and other ways you can have your say.

News, Energy Supply, Environment, Partnerships
Feb 15, 2016  Comment

Updating our Biogas Work

In 2014 and 2015, Yukon Energy partnered with the Cold Climate Innovation Centre and the City of Whitehorse to carry out a research project that was the first of its kind in Yukon. We wanted to learn if it is viable to turn food and yard waste at the Whitehorse landfill into renewable energy for electricity and heat, while maintaining good quality compost. After two years of research, we have gained some valuable information. The good news is this data could be very useful to the City of Whitehorse as it works towards of goal of zero waste by 2040. There is potential for a small biogas project to speed up the compost process, freeing up space at the city’s composting facility which could be a cost savings down the road. The not-so-good news is that using biogas to generate electricity is not economic for Yukon Energy without significant capital subsidy. Without subsidies, the electricity costs would be in the neighbourhood of 63 cents per kilowatt hour, compared with 14 cents for hydro, 28 cents for diesel, and 18 cents for natural gas. Simply put, there just is not enough waste to get the economies of scale we need to make this affordable for our customers. In addition to just looking at supplying electricity, we considered the possibility of heating buildings with biogas, including the option of heating a greenhouse that could be built near the landfill to supply Yukoners with locally grown food. Again, the economics simply are not there. The greenhouse would require most of its heat in the winter, which is when there would be the least amount of biogas-generated heat available. As well, in order for the greenhouse to pay for itself, we would need to supply the heat for free, which would make the biogas project uneconomic. While this is not a viable option for Yukon Energy, we are happy to provide our research to other Yukoners who might be interested in pursuing this further. Here is the final report.