What’s an isolated grid and what does that mean for me?

Most other areas of Canada and the United States are all part of a large electricity system that connects power producers and consumers through a series of transmission and distribution lines, and related facilities. But Yukon is not a part of that system. That raises some challenges when it comes to maintaining and planning for the electricity needs of the territory.

For one thing, it means we must produce all our own power. Unlike many other jurisdictions, we can’t ask our provincial or territorial neighbours to provide us with electricity if we run short. Likewise, if we have more power than we need at any given time, we have no way of selling it to our neighbours. 

It becomes a balancing act when planning for the future. We must build enough, but not too much.

 It’s because we are an isolated grid that we must have reliable back-up electricity, or ‘dispatchable’ electricity as it is known. If we have a shortage of renewable power for any reason, we need something that we can count on, to keep the lights on and businesses operating. At -40, electricity is not a luxury; it is a necessity.