The original reservoir at Mayo Lake was developed in the 1950s when Mayo A was built. The lake level was raised about five metres and the current operating regime of 2.59 metres was established. Yukon Energy is proposing to enhance the storage at Mayo Lake by lowering the current licensed minimum level for the lake by up to one metre. This would give us additional water that we would use to displace non-renewable (diesel or natural gas) generation.
Projects that enhance our existing hydro facilities displace non-renewable energy sources such as diesel without requiring as large an environmental footprint as initiatives such as new dams.
Yukon Energy is considering increasing the storage at Mayo Lake by asking that our current licensed minimum supply level be lowered by up to one metre. We are proposing to start with a half metre increase to the storage range, and carefully monitor the effects. If all was well according to the project's adaptive management plan, we would then look to increase by up to another half metre.
The half metre scenario would provide enough additional water during the winter to displace up to half a million dollars per year in thermal fuel costs, with up to $1 million a year if the additional storage range proves feasible from an environmental perspective.
This concept is being considered as part of our 2016 Resource Planning research.