As was noted earlier today on this blog, there was a power outage early this morning that resulted in most communities on the Yukon grid losing their electricity source. The outage occurred at 3 a.m. and most communities had their power restored by about 5 a.m.
Our crews have now determined that the outage was caused when a component of our Whitehorse hydro #4 unit failed. The component (official name is Programmable Logic Controller) is essentially a sophisticated computer and the main brain of the hydro unit. Its failure caused damage to other essential components.
Staff are working to systematically identify all issues with the damaged equipment. It could be several days before hydro unit #4 is back in service. In the meantime, we have sufficient hydro power from our other available units in Whitehorse, Mayo and Aishihik.
As you are likely aware, we had a power outage earlier this morning. Power went out to almost all of the Yukon grid (except for the Village of Mayo and Keno) at about 3 this morning.
Almost everyone was restored by approximately 5 a.m., except Pelly Crossing and the Minto mine, and they should be back on shortly.
The cause was a generation problem with our largest hydro unit in Whitehorse (what we refer to as the Fourth Wheel) but we are still investigating exactly what went wrong in that unit.
Have you heard of Electric Thermal Storage (ETS)? It's being tried in some jurisdictions as a way of storing renewable energy, and later using it to heat buildings. You can learn more about the technology here.
The Yukon Conservation Society is organizing a two-day workshop to explore this technology with local residents. Yukon Energy is a major sponsor.
Daytime workshops are taking place on May 13th and 14th, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Gold Rush Inn, Whitehorse. The cost is $200 for government and utility employees to attend, $100 for private business employees, and $20 for individuals. There is a free public session on May 14th at 7 p.m. Please contact the Yukon Conservation Society for details and to register.
The ETS workshop will present experience of other jurisdictions, discuss the potential costs, benefits, and challenges of ETS systems, and bring together a variety of policy makers and experts to discuss whether this technology is a possibility in terms of wide spread use in Yukon, and if so, what the next steps should be.
Between now and early June, Yukon Energy will be doing some major renovations to the Mayo Lake Control Structure. These upgrades are necessary to ensure we can continue to provide you with reliable service. However the work could mean restricted access to the near-by boat launch. While we realize the water isn't open for boats at this time of year, we have been told a few people may use that spot to access Mayo Lake by snowmobile.
For your own safety, we ask that you stay away from the area if at all possible.
If you must proceed to the boat lock, please practice caution and watch for large trucks and other operating equipment.
Attention Yukon businesses: if the Whitehorse Diesel to Natural Gas Conversion Project moves ahead this spring/summer, Yukon Energy will be looking to hire a number of construction contractors for work totaling several million dollars. The Corporation expects there will be opportunities for local sub-contractors as well. The principle contracts will be in the areas of civil, structural, mechanical, and electrical and instrumentation supply and installation.
Yukon Energy is holding a business opportunities information meeting:
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Gold Rush Inn (General Store)
1 to 3:30 p.m.
You’ll have a chance to learn more about the proposed project, get detailed information about the contracts we will be looking for, and learn about the services and supply of goods that subcontractors may be able to supply. This also provides you with the opportunity to register with Yukon Energy as a business interested in providing goods or services related to the proposed project. Image: proposed site plan.
Congratulations Yukoners! You reduced electricity consumption by about 1.5 megawatts during tonight's Earth Hour. That's up from about one megawatt last year and is in fact the most savings we've seen since we started tracking Earth Hour a few years ago!
Earth Hour takes place this coming Saturday between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Turn out your lights and savor a moment of darkness. But remember…it’s about more than switching off your lights for an hour. It’s about taking action to reduce energy use year round.
What will you do for Earth Hour?
Tell us here on this blog, on our Facebook page or on Twitter and you could win a selection of energy saving products.
We've been talking recently about the benefits of moving to LED lighting. The lights are initially more expensive (currently one light costs between $15 and $25 here in Whitehorse stores) but they actually save a significant amount of money over the long term compared to the old incandescent bulbs and even the newer CFL lights, since the LEDs last up to 25 times longer than the old bulbs.
We recently received an email from the local company EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc. They have switched 95 percent of their lighting to LEDs, with great reviews from their staff. Here's part of the note from the company's branch manager Pat Tobler:
"To move in our new office location, the building had to be renovated to suit our needs and as such the lighting had to be redone. Our staff was very keen on more natural and pleasant lighting alternatives to the typical florescent lighting that is found in many offices. We agreed track and pot lighting would be appropriate and when it came to bulb choice we had to decide between LED and halogen. The cost difference was significant for the 87 lights we needed ($3,000 for LED, $300 for halogen). We knew that the efficiency and extended bulb life would pay for itself over the length of our lease. In terms of quality, we went with a softer light (650 lumens). We are pleased to report that our staff is very happy with the lighting in our office. While the lights will pay for themselves over the term of our lease, we feel that they already have paid for themselves in terms of their contributions to the overall atmosphere of the office."
It's great to hear reports like this. If you have experience with LEDs in your home or office that you'd like to share, please drop us a note or post something here.
We are very excited to hear the news that the Contagious Mountain Bike Club in Whitehorse has won the MEC Dirt Search Contest. We thought you'd like to read all about this from the club itself. Here what they wrote yesterday on their Facebook page:
WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What happens when you combine mountain bikers, a First Nation, dedicated youth trail builders, generous local businesses, a proud territory, and supporters from across North America? $12,000 and a surprise ending, apparently!!
Proving that we can achieve great things when we join together, the Yukon has won the western division of MEC's Dirt Search contest, receiving more votes than the serious southern heavyweights we were up against. It was a close finish, and we can assure you that EVERY last one of your votes really made this seemingly "impossible" goal possible!
As if the $10,000 MEC prize wasn't enough, our club received over 3 times the 2,000 votes it needed to realize the full $1 per vote (up to $2,000) pledge that Yukon Energy Corporation made early into the competition!
Thanks to all of you, youth trail builders will be out in full force this summer in Carcross. We are so excited for them and this amazing opportunity. Together we're going to do great things, Yukon.
Today's question: Are there cracks in the concrete of the Whitehorse dam?
Just to be clear, the actual dam in Whitehorse is not made of concrete; it is an earthen dam. What I think this person is referring to are the concrete spillgates adjacent to the dam.
I suspect this question comes because of this week's earthquake in the Destruction Bay area. The quake measured 4.8 on the Richter scale at the epicentre and 4.5 in Destruction Bay itself.
After any nearby earthquake we conduct a thorough inspection of our generating facilities. In this case we inspected both the Aishihik and Whitehorse facilities and did not find any cracks resulting from the earthquake.