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:

Stephanie Cunha
Manager, Communications
Yukon Energy Corporation
Phone: (867) 393-5333
Email: Stephanie.Cunha@yec.yk.ca

News, Media Releases, Energy Supply, Environment, Reliability
Sep 05, 2019  Comment

Federal funding will help build a robust and reliable energy system in Yukon

Today, the Government of Canada announced more than $39.2 million in funding for two Yukon Energy projects that will increase the reliability of Yukon’s electrical grid and help build the robust energy system needed to support future growth. The investment comes from the government’s Green Infrastructure Stream (GIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Project 1: Grid-scale battery storage  The federal government is investing $16.5 million in Yukon Energy’s construction of a new battery storage system in Yukon. Once completed, the 8 MW battery will be the largest grid-connected battery in the North, and one of the largest in Canada. The new battery is a critical investment in Yukon Energy’s ability to meet growing demands for power and securing Yukon’s energy future. As an isolated grid, one of the largest challenges Yukon Energy faces is meeting peak demands for power during winter months. When complete, the new system will store excess electricity generated during off-peak periods and provide Yukoners with access to more power during peak periods. This new energy storage system will create a more reliable power supply and help reduce the territory’s reliance on diesel fuel. Over the 20-year life of project, the new battery is expected to reduce carbon emissions in Yukon by more than 20,000 tonnes. A location for the new battery energy storage system has not been identified. Yukon Energy will begin permitting of the project in 2020 with construction targeted to be complete by mid-2023. Project 2: Replacing and upgrading the Mayo to McQuesten Transmission Line Yukon Energy has received $22.7 million in federal funding to proceed with Stage 1 of the Stewart to Keno City Transmission Project – replacing and upgrading the 65 year-old transmission line between Mayo and McQuesten. The project also includes the addition of system protection equipment at the Stewart Crossing South substation. The Yukon government, through the Yukon Development Corporation, has already provided $3.5 million towards planning for the project. Replacing the Mayo to McQuesten transmission line is critical to Yukon Energy’s ability to deliver safe and reliable electricity to customers in the Mayo and Keno regions and to support economic growth in Yukon. The transmission line has reached end-of-life and become increasingly unreliable for customers in the area. The First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun has expressed their support of this project. The project has also been approved by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board. Yukon Energy will begin replacing and upgrading the 31 km transmission line between Mayo and McQuesten in 2020. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2020. When finished, the new 138 kV transmission line will provide more reliable electricity to customers in the Mayo and Keno regions and be equipped to support industrial growth and development in the area, including the Victoria Gold Mine, with renewable power from the Yukon grid. Planning work for the remainder of the Stewart to Keno City Transmission Project has been completed. Yukon Energy continues to explore funding opportunities that are needed to proceed with other stages of the project.

News, Energy Supply, Reliability
Apr 16, 2019  Comment

Low Snow Packs Plus Low Water Means More Electricity Generated Using Thermal Fuel Sources this Year

Hydro plays a key role in Yukon’s electricity mix. In 2018, we used water to generate almost 94 percent of the electricity needed by Yukoners connected to the Yukon grid. Thermal fuel sources like liquefied natural gas (LNG) and diesel were used to generate the other six percent of Yukoners’ needs. Running a hydro operation means being at the mercy of available water. We have three hydroelectric generation facilities in Whitehorse, Aishihik and Mayo. Over the past two winters, warm temperatures and dry conditions in much of Yukon has resulted in lower-than-normal snowpack and water inflows at all three of our hydroelectric generation facilities. With less water available to generate electricity, we’ll need to use more LNG this spring and fall to meet electricity demand. We anticipate needing to generate an additional 50 to 100 GWh of electricity using LNG in 2019, depending on the amount of rain we get this year. The more rain we get, the less LNG we’ll need to use. How You Can Help – conserve electricity With every simple conservation choice we make, we reduce the need to use LNG and diesel to generate electricity and save more of Yukon’s resources for the future. Make simple choices – turn off the lights when you leave a room, take a five-minute shower instead of 10, use LEDs instead of incandescent lights. In addition to being good for the environment, these simple acts also save you money each month by lowering your power bill. Electricity conservation makes your life better — in real, everyday ways. Please see the document below for more information about snowpack and forecast inflow levels this year. For more energy conservation tips, visit inchargeyukon.ca.

News, Media Releases
Apr 12, 2019  Comment

Canada Invests in Smart Grid Technology to Reduce Energy Costs in Yukon

Energy efficiency helps families save money, makes businesses more competitive and creates a cleaner environment for future generations. The Government of Canada is taking action by investing in technology that will make our electrical systems more efficient and prepare us for a clean energy future. Member of Parliament for Yukon, the Honourable Larry Bagnell, on behalf of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced a $650,000 investment for Yukon Energy Corporation to cut energy costs, reduce the use of fuel to generate electricity during high-demand peaks and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Residential Demand Response Program will make the territory’s electrical grid more efficient by equipping up to 400 homes with smart devices. These devices will allow Yukon Energy to shift participating customers’ energy demand to off-peak hours and meet Yukon’s growing energy capacity needs in a cost-effective and sustainable way while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This program is a joint collaboration between Yukon Energy Corporation, Yukon Development Corporation and ATCO Electric Yukon. Funding for this project is provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Grid Program, which allows utilities to reduce pollution and optimize electricity use while encouraging innovation. The program is part of the Government of Canada’s more than $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Through Canada’s national energy dialogue, Generation Energy, Canadians made it clear that reliable, affordable, clean energy solutions are not a luxury but a necessity for Canada’s low-carbon future. We will continue to support clean energy initiatives that create jobs, support investment and industry competitiveness, advance our clean future and help realize our global climate change goals. Quotes “Affordable and clean energy technology is a must for Yukon’s future. Today’s investment in innovative technology will help families save money and will help move Yukoners down a positive environmental path, for many generations to come.”  The Honourable Larry Bagnell  Member of Parliament for Yukon “Reducing demand and increasing efficiency is key as we work to reduce Yukon’s carbon footprint. All Yukoners have a stake in the territory’s energy future, and this innovative program will empower individuals to be mindful about consumption while helping us move toward a more economically and environmentally sustainable future.” The Honourable Ranj Pillai Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation Minister responsible for the Yukon Energy Corporation “The Residential Demand Response Program gives Yukoners the opportunity to directly influence and participate in Yukon’s energy future. As the demand for electricity continues to grow in the territory, so too does the need for a reliable mix of new generation sources and energy conservation programs. The Residential Demand Response Program is a critical piece of that mix.” Andrew Hall President and C.E.O. Yukon Energy Corporation “ATCO Electric Yukon is a proud provider of reliable energy to the communities we both live in, and serve, in the North. Together with Yukon Development Corporation, Yukon Energy Corporation and Natural Resources Canada, we are committed to providing innovative solutions for northerners to effectively manage their electricity while lowering costs and protecting the environment.”  Jay Massie Manager ATCO Electric Yukon Contacts Natural Resources Canada Media Relations (343) 292-6100 NRCan.media_relations-media_relations.RNCan@canada.ca Vanessa Adams Press Secretary Office of the Minister of Natural Resources (343) 543-7645 Vanessa.Adams@canada.ca Yukon Energy Manager, Communications (867) 393-5333 Stephanie.Cunha@yec.yk.ca For a French copy of this announcement, please see the attached.

News, Energy Supply, Regulatory, Reliability
Dec 04, 2018  Comment

Responding to Concerns About the Aishihik Relicensing

You may have heard news stories about concerns by the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) about the process to relicense the Aishihik hydro facility. We feel we owe it to Yukoners to explain the situation from our point of view. Aishihik hydro is a key power plant in Yukon’s renewable energy system. Twenty-five percent of the hydro produced by Yukon Energy comes from the Aishihik plant. In winter, as much as fifty percent of our renewable energy comes from Aishihik. The Aishihik facility reduces our reliance on diesel and LNG, which decreases GHG emissions and fuel costs. About 2½ years ago, CAFN and Yukon Energy entered into a protocol agreement to cooperatively plan for the relicensing of the Aishihik power plant. The license expires at the end of next year. Working together, we established: a steering committee (one member each from CAFN and Yukon Energy) to oversee the work and provide high level guidance; an advisory committee of CAFN, Yukon Energy, various government departments and non-governmental organizations; it made recommendations on interests, values, and technical matters; and a Champagne and Aishihik Community Advisory Committee that met frequently to provide information to the project and engage with CAFN Citizens. We also provided funding to CAFN for a traditional knowledge project that included archival and oral history research, as well as map biographies and oral history interviews. CAFN and Yukon Energy jointly selected a consulting team to conduct a comprehensive series of field studies, research, and analysis over several years regarding the environment and people in the Aishihik area. This information was considered alongside other monitoring and research information that has been collected in the project area over the last 40 years.  CAFN Citizens participated directly in most of the field studies and research. Yukon Energy has contributed more than $600,000 to CAFN over the last 2.5 years on this project. We have worked with CAFN in good faith in an attempt to agree on a proposal that balances energy needs with preserving the long-term health and well-being of the land, water, and people. We listened to their concerns, and this has shaped what we plan to include in a project proposal to YESAB. For instance, we have agreed on monitoring and adaptive management to reduce winter flooding and erosion downstream from the Aishihik plant. Another change that both parties agreed to is to remove aesthetic flows at Otter Falls, something that is not expected to have any adverse effects on fish. We have been working together on monitoring of fish and wildlife at Aishihik Lake. What we have not been able to agree on is the operating range of the lake. Yukon Energy and CAFN held a workshop in early September where we had agreed we would discuss a variety of options for the operating range of Aishihik Lake. However at that workshop it became very clear to us that, for CAFN, the only viable option was to return the lake to levels seen before the dam was built. We feel we cannot do that for a number of reasons. First of all, the science shows that the lake and the fish in the lake are healthy. There are no key drivers that we can point to in the scientific research that convince us we should significantly change the lake operation. Also, if we did not have Aishihik and its water storage, we estimate that a new replacement generating plant would cost more than $100 million. In addition, if we returned the lake to levels before the dam was built, Yukon Energy would need to burn more than $10 million per year in LNG and diesel in the short term, in order to make up for the lost energy. This would emit an additional 33 kilotons of GHGs annually relative to our current emissions. Note that, currently, our entire operation only creates 5 kilotons of GHGs each year. We must take the interests of all our ratepayers and Yukoners into consideration in making this decision. Since our water use license expires at the end of next year, and since we can’t operate our Aishihik plant without a new license, time is of the essence. We are already cutting it very close in terms of being able to get through both the YESAA and the Yukon Water Board processes. For all these reasons, we have decided we must move forward on our own with a YESAA proposal late this year or early next. We want to continue working with CAFN, but we simply can’t agree to returning the lake to natural levels.