First Nations


Feb 25  Comment

Atlin Hydro Expansion project advances with funding and First Nations support

The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is several steps closer to development after a number of critical milestones were reached by Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership (THELP) and Yukon Energy in the last several months. When complete, the Atlin Hydro Expansion project will increase the amount of dependable renewable hydroelectricity available in Yukon. In August 2020, THELP and Yukon Energy signed an Agreement in Principle outlining both parties commitment to work collaboratively to advance the project and negotiate an Electricity Purchase Agreement for the project. Since then, THELP has secured $2.5 million in federal funding to complete preliminary design and engineering for the project. THELP and Yukon Energy continue to work collaboratively to seek additional government grant funding for construction of the project. On December 23, 2020, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) issued a clan directive outlining that, subject to successful permitting approval by the BC and TRTFN environmental review processes, TRTFN supports the Atlin Hydro Expansion project advancing to financing, construction and operation. In follow-up, in January of this year, THELP submitted environmental permitting applications to BC authorities for the planned expansion of its Atlin facilities. THELP has also submitted permitting applications to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board for the project’s transmission connection to Jakes Corner in Yukon. Today, THELP and Yukon Energy continue to negotiate an Electricity Purchase Agreement which will outline the price Yukon Energy will pay THELP for the electricity generated and additional capacity made available by the planned project. Both parties aim to have an agreement in place this spring. Quotes: “TRTFN began operating its first hydro project in 2009. For over a decade, it has shut down polluting diesel generation and provided clean energy to Sunny Atlin. As our community moves toward clean energy, citizens in our homeland have also made personal decisions and investments to move from oil fired furnaces to utilize this clean energy to heat their homes. Our first project was a small step towards reconciling our collective history and this expansion project will be another significant step in that direction. Socially, culturally, and economically we are Yukoners and so we are honoured to be able to share our resources to provide a cleaner energy future for Yukoners and a brighter future for our citizens and all Atlinites.” Peter Kirby, President & CEO, Taku Group of Companies “Purchasing power from the planned Atlin Hydro Expansion project is another way that Yukon Energy is working hard to make more renewable electricity available to Yukoners and to reduce our reliance on diesel in the near future. This project is also special because of the opportunity it provides us to work directly with yet another First Nation government and development corporation to build the clean energy future that Yukoners need and want.” Andrew Hall, President & CEO, Yukon Energy “The Government of Yukon is pleased to support this partnership between Yukon Energy and the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership. The Atlin Hydro Expansion project will address Yukon’s growing demand for energy and help us meet the 97 percent renewable electricity goal in Our Clean Future, our government’s climate change, energy and green economy strategy for the territory. Collaborating with First Nations to expand renewable energy capacity will create economic opportunities and keep our economy strong and resilient.” Ranj Pillai, Minister responsible for the Yukon Energy Corporation Quick Facts: The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project would expand the infrastructure and power production capacity on Pine Creek from 2.1 megawatts to approximately 10 megawatts. The additional energy generated would be exported entirely to Yukon to increase the territory’s supply of renewable electricity and dependable capacity when it is needed most, in the winter. The project is expected to add 8.5 megawatts of dependable capacity to Yukon’s grid. That’s about the same as increasing the size of Yukon’s electrical system by about 8 per cent. It is also expected to generate about 45 gigawatt hours of hydroelectricity annually – roughly the same amount of electricity used by 3,750 Yukon homes each year. The Atlin Hydro Expansion project will be built and owned by Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership. Yukon Energy will buy the hydro power and capacity generated by the project and make it available to Yukoners. The proposed project is projected to be complete in 2024. Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited is a company 100% owned by TRTFN citizens. Yukon Energy is the primary generator and transmitter of electricity in Yukon. Contacts: Peter Kirby President & CEO Taku Group of Companies 867-689-8258 Stephanie Cunha Manager, Communications and Customer Service Yukon Energy 867-334-7760 Renee Francoeur Cabinet Communications 867-334-9194

Feb 22  Comment

​​​​​​​Yukon Energy announces location of the Whitehorse Battery Project

Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council to share project benefits. Yukon Energy announced today that the site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway will be the future home of its grid-scale energy storage project in Whitehorse. Once complete, the 7 megawatt / 40 megawatt-hour battery will be the largest grid-connected battery in the North, and one of the largest in Canada. The final battery site is located on the overlapping Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. The site is located on Kwanlin Dün First Nation Settlement Land and on land identified by the First Nation for future development. Yukon Energy made the decision to proceed with the site near the Alaska Highway after completing a fulsome assessment that looked at each site’s technical, economic, and socio-economic attributes. A Battery Project Steering Committee with representatives from Yukon Energy, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council was formed in August, 2020. Since then, the three parties have been working together to assess location options for the battery and opportunities to maximize First Nations benefits from the project. Yukon Energy, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s development corporation, Chu Niìkwän Development Corporation, have also signed a Term Sheet outlining Yukon Energy’s commitment to provide investment, procurement, contracting and partnership opportunities to both First Nations as part of the project. The agreement provides provisions for Yukon Energy to enter into trilateral negotiations with Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council to develop Project Benefit Agreements with each First Nation with the overall objective of Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council to share available benefits to the extent possible. Each First Nation’s Project Benefit Agreement will be subject to approval by the appropriate First Nation’s government, and other government and regulatory bodies. Quotes: “Yukon Energy is firmly committed to establishing mutually-beneficial and strategic partnerships with First Nations governments and development corporations to build Yukon’s clean energy future. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council, and to each of their representatives, for collaborating with us on the battery project. I personally look forward to continuing to working with both First Nations and their representatives in the coming years as more opportunities for green energy in Yukon come to fruition.” Andrew Hall, President and CEO, Yukon Energy “Our Development Corporation, Chu Niìkwän’s investment in this project will lead to increased opportunities for Kwanlin Dün First Nation citizens and improve access to clean stable electricity for all Yukoners. By participating in projects like this on our Traditional Territory we are realizing and activating our potential for economic development that was laid out in Chapter 22 of our Final Agreement. We wish Yukon Energy success in managing and delivering this innovative project. We see it as another step toward stabilizing Yukon’s isolated grid and reducing Yukon’s reliance on fossil fuels for back-up power generation.” Chief Doris Bill, Kwanlin Dün First Nation “Ta’an Kwäch’än Council is in full support of this project, as it will help to reduce diesel consumption and reduce Yukon’s carbon emissions. TKC looks forward to the opportunity to participate on this initiative as we are a committed partner alongside Kwanlin Dün First Nation.” Chief Kristina Kane, Ta’an Kwäch’än Council Quick Facts: The new battery is a critical investment in Yukon Energy’s ability to meet growing demands for electricity and to respond to emergency situations. As an isolated grid, one of the largest challenges Yukon Energy faces is meeting peak demands for power during winter months. The battery will store excess electricity generated during off-peak periods and provide Yukoners with access to more power during peak periods, reducing the amount of diesel needed at that time. Over the 20-year life of the project, the new battery is expected to reduce carbon emissions in Yukon by more than 20,000 tonnes. On September 5, 2019, the Government of Canada announced $16.5 million in funding for the battery through the Green Infrastructure Stream (GIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Yukon Energy’s investment in the battery is expected to be approximately $14.5 million. Three different sites were originally proposed by the Steering Committee as potential locations for the battery – two in Whitehorse near Yukon Energy’s operations on Robert Service Way and one on the North Klondike Highway.  All three potential sites were on First Nations Settlement Land and located on the overlapping Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. In December 2020, Yukon Energy announced that the site on the North Klondike Highway was eliminated from consideration after the Corporation received strong public opposition to the site. The battery is scheduled to be installed and in service by the end of 2022. Contacts: Stephanie Cunha Manager, Communications and Customer Service Yukon Energy 867-334-7760 Leighann Chalykoff Communications Manager Kwanlin Dün First Nation 867-334-6587 Janet Smellie Communications Officer Ta’an Kwäch’än Council 867-334-5298

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