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

Dec 15, 2020  Comment

Yukon Energy advances grid-scale battery project in Whitehorse

Yukon Energy reached a critical milestone in its efforts to build a grid-scale battery in Whitehorse by making two major announcements about the project today. Once completed, 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 first announcement – Yukon Energy has issued the first stage of a two-stage competitive procurement process for a battery vendor for the grid-scale energy storage project. In Stage 1, vendors are being asked to submit a proposal demonstrating their technical capability, experience and corporate capacity to deliver a battery designed to meet Yukon Energy’s operational requirements and Yukon’s northern climate. Qualified vendors chosen in Stage 1 of the process will be invited to submit a proposal in Stage 2, which will evaluate vendors based on technical specifications, price, First Nations benefits and other components. Yukon Energy’s Request for Proposals (RFP) can be viewed at yukonenergy.ca and merx.com. The RFP closes at 2:00 p.m. Yukon Standard Time on February 15, 2021. Today’s second announcement – Yukon Energy has eliminated the site beside its Takhini substation on the North Klondike Highway from consideration as a potential location for the battery. The decision to remove the site was made after nearly 60 per cent of public comments received by the Corporation about the project this past fall were in opposition to the site on the North Klondike Highway being considered as a possible location for the battery. Three different sites were originally proposed by Yukon Energy 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 are First Nations Settlement Land and located on the overlapping Traditional Territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council. Earlier this year, Yukon Energy and representatives from the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council developed a Project Steering Committee to evaluate site options. Public feedback about the battery storage project was collected during a series of open houses in September and through discussions with property owners near each of the three proposed sites. A What We Heard Report outlining key themes and findings from those engagement sessions has been posted on Yukon Energy’s website, yukonenergy.ca. A final site for the battery is expected to be announced once lease terms have been finalized. Quote: “It feels great to reach this critical milestone,” said Andrew Hall, President & CEO of Yukon Energy. “We knew when we started this project that the most difficult and time-consuming part of it would be sourcing the right kind of battery for our unique needs and climate. Issuing this RFP now sets us up to have the battery installed and in service by the end of 2022 like we always planned.” Quick Facts: The new battery is a critical investment in Yukon Energy’s ability to meet growing demands for electricity 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. 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 between $10 and $13.5 million. The battery is scheduled to be installed and in service by the end of 2022. -30- Media contact: Stephanie Cunha Manager, Communications & Customer Service Yukon Energy 393-5333 stephanie.cunha@yec.yk.ca

Dec 11, 2020  Comment

Yukon Energy decides to prepare a proposal for the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Board to assess the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Project

The company will continue discussions with Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council as it prepares its proposal and will contact property owners directly affected by the project to review and finalize mitigation plans. Yukon Energy’s Board of Directors have made the decision to move the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Project forward, into the next stage. In doing so, the Board approved the preparation of a proposal to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) for a third-party evaluation of the project. While it doesn’t necessarily mean the project will proceed, the decision does mark the culmination of over 10 years of study, research, public meetings, surveys, planning, engineering and engagement. “While there continues to be mixed feelings about the project one thing is crystal clear – Yukoners want more renewable electricity,” said Andrew Hall, President & CEO of Yukon Energy. “After 10 years of researching and gathering feedback on our proposed plan, we believe we can implement the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Project in a way that supports Yukoners’ desire for more renewable electricity while also addressing the specific concerns of local Citizens, residents and property owners.” Yukon Energy first started assessing the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Project in 2009 as one way to increase the amount of renewable electricity it generates each winter. The company completed its final round of public engagement on the project in January 2020. A What We Heard Report outlining key themes and findings from the engagement sessions and two public surveys was released in May 2020. Yukon Energy plans to have its YESAA proposal ready in summer 2021. Yukoners and other interested parties will have another opportunity to share their views about the proposed project once the proposal is submitted – this time directly with YESAB.  For now, Yukon Energy will continue to engage First Nations, Citizens and residents in the Southern Lakes area to finalize key components of the project proposal including: Working with the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council to complete fieldwork for a Heritage Resources Impact Assessment. Continuing discussions with First Nations governments and other stakeholders in the project area to develop a Monitoring and Adaptive Management Plan. This will help Yukon Energy track potential effects of the project and outline how the Corporation will make adjustments, if needed, to address any significant effects. Negotiating project-specific Benefits Agreements with First Nations. Meeting with Southern Lakes property owners who are expected to be directly affected by the project to review and confirm the company’s erosion and groundwater mitigation plans. Developing an adjudication process for property owners who experience unexpected impacts, should the project be implemented, to file concerns and seek additional mitigation. Should YESAB provide a positive assessment of the proposed project, Yukon Energy would subsequently authorize/permit the project with the Yukon Water Board and Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 2022. These regulatory processes also include opportunities for the public to provide feedback on the proposed plans. If all regulatory approvals are granted, the earliest Yukon Energy would be able to use the additional storage range in the Southern Lakes would be the fall of 2023. Nothing in how Yukon Energy monitors and manages water levels in the Southern Lakes will change until that time. “Soon, we’ll leave it in the hands of YESAB to make their own impartial assessment of the project,” concluded Mr. Hall. “After 10 years, we believe all Yukoners will appreciate having an independent third party involved at this stage to determine if we are right in our enthusiasm about the benefits we believe the Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Project provides Yukon.” -30- Media Inquiries: Stephanie Cunha Communications Manager 867-393-5333 stephanie.cunha@yec.yk.ca

Nov 23, 2020  Comment

A rate increase with little impact on Yukoners’ bills

Yukon Energy Corporation is taking an innovative approach to its proposed 2021 rate increase. If supported by the Yukon Utilities Board (YUB), the rate increase could end up increasing the average Yukon residential bill by about 70 cents a month — or less than the cost of a cup of coffee. “As a regulated utility, Yukoners pay what Yukon Energy pays to plan, build, operate and maintain Yukon’s power generation and transmission assets,” said Yukon Energy President and CEO Andrew Hall. “When significant investments are needed to meet growing demands for power, electricity rates must go up to help pay for those investments.” The corporation’s General Rate Application (GRA) outlines over $55 million in investments the Corporation expects to make between 2019 and 2021. It asks for an 11.5% rate increase in 2021. This equates to 3.8% a year between 2019 and 2021. The application also outlines a way the rate increase can be implemented so that the impact on Yukoners’ monthly bills is closer to 0%. “What we’re proposing is a “nearly 0” rate increase,” said Hall. “It’s a way for us to make the investments we need to replace aging assets and meet growing demands for electricity, while providing some bill stability for Yukoners, especially those on a fixed income.” “Our Board of Directors recognizes that paying more for electricity can be hard from some Yukoners, especially during the COVID pandemic. That’s why we’ve worked hard to find a way for the rate increase to have little impact on electricity bills.” The increase comes as Yukon Energy is faced with two major challenges. First, peak demands for electricity continues to grow. Between 2018 and 2020, peak demands for electricity increased by 17%. Yukon Energy expects peak demand to rise by another 40% by 2030. Second, Yukon’s electrical system is aging and requires repairs, upgrades and replacement. Supporting future growth will require refurbished infrastructure and investments in new renewable and reliability projects. With its legacy assets, the company finds itself in circumstances similar to that of homeowners. As their families grow, their original home may require an addition. And as the house itself ages, it requires major repairs like a new roof or furnace. “Our house is over 60 years old,” said Hall, “and it needs significant work, and an addition or two.” Yukon Energy’s proposal, subject to support from YUB, is to phase in the proposed 2021 rate increase when two other charges currently on electricity bills are planned for removal next year. If all goes according to plan, the first phase will be in July and the second in December of 2021. “Our ultimate aim is to make the investments needed to support future growth with renewable and reliable sources of electricity, while minimizing the impact to Yukoners’ monthly electricity bills.” Yukon Energy submitted its rate increase proposal to the Yukon Utilities Board on November 20, 2020. Yukoners may view Yukon Energy’s rate application, and register as an intervenor or interested party at yukonutilitiesboard.yk.ca. A public information session about this rate application is being planned for early 2021. Yukoners can visit https://yukonenergy.ca/customer-service/rates/2021-rate-application/ or follow Yukon Energy on Facebook or Twitter for more details. -30- Media Contact: Stephanie Cunha Manager, Communications 867-393-5333 stephanie.cunha@yec.yk.ca

Power Outage Updates, Reliability, Safety
Oct 26, 2020  Comment

Strong Winds Causing Power Outages Across Yukon - October 26, 2020

Strong winds across Yukon are causing power outages in communities across the territory. Always assumed downed power lines are energized. If you see a downed or low-hanging power line, stay at least 10 meters back. UPDATE (3 p.m. Oct 27) Power was restored to all remaining areas affecting by yesterday's power outage at 2:40 p.m. this afternoon. Thank you for everyone's patience and support as we worked to restore power yesterday and today. With snow on the ground now and cooler temperatures on the horizon, yesterday’s wind storm is a great reminder that severe weather can cause prolonged power outages sometimes. Take some time over the next couple of weeks to build your 72-hour emergency kit. Make sure it has everything you need to take care of you and your family for 3 days. Visit the Government of Canada's website for ideas about what to include in your kit https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/yprprdnssgd/index-en.aspx UPDATE (2 P.m. oct 27): Power was restored to the remainder of customers in South Fox shortly after 1:30 this afternoon. We've also been able to energize the transmission line between Whitehorse and Carmacks. The transmission line between Carmacks and Faro will be energized in the next couple of hours after we complete some system checks at the Carmacks substation. We're sorry for the delay and thank everyone for your patience and understanding as we work to get everyone back on. UPDATE (11 a.m. Oct 27): Power was restored to customers in Mendenhall at 9:30 this morning. Crews continue to remove trees like this from the transmission line between Whitehorse and Faro. At this time, crews are optimistic that power can be restored to customers in Drury Creek, Little Fox, Little Salmon and McGundy Creek between noon and 1 p.m. today. More updates to follow as they become available. Update (6 A.M. OCT 27): Yukon Energy crews were able to restore power to an additional 30 customers in Braeburn and South Fox before midnight last night by installing a mobile diesel generator in the communities. Approximately 95 customers in Drury Creek, Little Fox, Little Salmon, McGundy Creek, parts of Mendenhall, and a pocket of South Fox are still without power. Yukon Energy crews will fly-over the transmission line between Whitehorse and Faro at first light this morning and continue with repairs. Estimated time of restoration is still mid-day today. More updates to follow as they become available. UPDATE (9 p.m. Oct 26):  High winds have caused multiple trees to land on the transmission line between Whitehorse and Carmacks, and Carmacks and Faro. With it being so dark and slick out now, crews will not be able to complete repairs to the transmission line before they hour out and must stop working. Customers in the following communities will unfortunately be without power until about mid-day Tuesday, October 27. Additional status updates will be provided in the morning. Areas affected by the power outage: Breaburn, South Fox, Little Fox, Drury Creek, McGundy Creek, Little Salmon and some parts of Mendenhall. UPDATE (7 p.m. Oct 26): Yukon Energy and ATCO Electric Yukon crews are working together to restore outages as quickly and safely as possible in communities experiencing a power outage. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

News, Media Releases
Jul 13, 2020  Comment

Yukon Energy Signs Agreement to Purchase Solar Power from Solvest Inc.

Yukon Energy Corporation has signed the first Electricity Purchase Agreement with an Independent Power Producer on the Yukon Integrated Electricity System. The agreement signed with Solvest Inc. outlines Yukon Energy’s commitment to purchase the renewable electricity generated by Solvest’s proposed 1.0 megawatt solar project on the North Klondike Highway for the next 25 years. The agreement was signed as part of Yukon government’s Independent Power Production Policy’s Standing Offer Program. Signing the Electricity Purchase Agreement will increase the supply of renewable electricity on the Yukon grid once Solvest’s solar project is complete. The additional source of renewable electricity will help offset Yukon Energy’s use of diesel and liquefied natural gas, particularly between the months of April and June each year when the amount of solar energy generated by Solvest’s solar array is expected to be the greatest. Solvest’s 1.0 megawatt solar project is scheduled to be complete in November 2020. Once constructed, Solvest’s solar project will be the largest solar array in the territory. Solvest will join the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation government in being the second independently developed and operated, utility-scale solar project in the territory. Quotes As demand for electricity grows, it is important that we increase the amount generated from renewable sources. This local renewable energy project creates jobs and opportunities for Yukon businesses, supports energy self-sufficiency, makes us less vulnerable to changing fuel prices and helps us transition to a clean energy economy. Signing this agreement brings certainty to Solvest as a green economy investor and to Yukon Energy and its customers on the price paid for power over the next 25 years. – Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai Yukon Energy is committed to renewables. By 2030, our goal is to have more than 97% of the electricity generated on the Yukon grid, on average, to come from renewable sources. In addition to the renewable projects we are building on our own, entering into these types of agreements with Independent Power Producers and purchasing locally-owned and generated renewable electricity helps us reach our renewable electricity target and build a sustainable energy future in Yukon. – Yukon Energy Corporation President and CEO Andrew Hall Solvest is pleased to take a leading role in renewable energy development in the Yukon. This project will provide an economically viable example of solar in the north and help encourage further development of renewable energy here and across northern Canada. As a local company, we look forward to working with Yukon government, Yukon Energy and ATCO Electric Yukon to bring this project online and begin supplying Yukoners with renewable energy for decades to come. – Solvest Vice-President Ben Power Quick facts Once constructed, Solvest’s solar array will be the largest solar array in operating in the territory. It will generate approximately 1.84 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity each year – about the same amount of electricity used by 153 Yukon homes in a year. The project is expected to generate most of its solar power between the months of April and June. There are three approaches to developing an Independent Power Production project: the Standing Offer Program for smaller projects that go through an application process, the Call of Power where utilities seek out larger projects and Unsolicited Proposals where projects are submitted to utilities. This agreement is under the Standing Offer Program. Stephanie Cunha Communications, Yukon Energy Corporation 867- 334-7760 stephanie.cunha@yec.yk.ca Anne Huang Communications, Solvest Inc. 867-457-5690 press@solvest.ca Brigitte Parker Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources 867- 667-3183 Brigitte.Parker@gov.yk.ca

News, Reliability
Jun 11, 2020  Comment

Whitehorse diesel engine sound monitoring results

This past April, we had to run company-owned diesel engines in Whitehorse, Mayo, Dawson City and Faro to generate electricity because of low water levels and one of our liquefied natural gas generators in Whitehorse being out-of-service. During that time, we heard concerns from some Riverdale residents in Whitehorse about noise levels coming from the Whitehorse diesel plant, and committed to hiring an independent consultant to monitor sound levels. The consultant’s research is complete and shows that when our four company-owned diesel units in Whitehorse were running this spring, sound levels: At our Riverside substation near homes on Nisutlin Drive (approx. 250 metres from the diesel plant) were higher than levels permitted by the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission (BC OGC) and Health Canada; and Near homes on Bell Crescent (approx. 450 metres from the diesel plant) were lower than BC OGC and Health Canada guidelines. The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission’s (BC OGC) Noise Control Best Practices Guidelines and Health Canada’s Guidance for Evaluating Human Health Impacts in Environmental Assessment: Noise are two standards commonly used in Yukon as guidelines to assess sound levels for industrial activities. Specific measurements of the sound levels recorded at each site and the sound thresholds set in each guideline are included in two summary tables at the end of this article. Knowing these results, we will: Look into what it would take to install a permanent sound monitoring device at the Riverside substation on Nisutlin Drive. Our goal is to always be aware of how much noise is being emitted by the diesel generators and for an alert to be sent to us if we are nearing permissible limits. Explore possible ways to reduce noise levels at the Whitehorse diesel plant. This may include adding equipment to the generators to muffle noise, making changes to the building or other options. Thank you to all residents who contacted us about this matter and offered us the use of their yard to do this important work. We apologize for the disturbance these generators caused and are optimistic that as we work to build and integrate more renewables onto the grid, that our reliance on diesel and LNG generators during spring months will be reduced. Table 1.0 Sound Monitoring Levels Compared to BC OCG Guidelines Sound Monitoring Location Measured Daytime Noise (dB) BCOG Daytime Noise Permissible Sound Level (dB) Difference (dB) Riverside substation (Nisutlin Drive) 66.4 61 +5.4 Bell Crescent 52.5 61 -8.5 Table 2.0 Sound Monitoring Levels Compared to Health Canada Guidelines Sound Monitoring Location Calculated % Change in Operating & Non-Operating Sound Levels Maximum % Change Permitted in Operating & Non-Operating Sound Levels Difference (dB) Riverside substation (Nisutlin Drive) 11.4% 6.5% +4.9% Bell Crescent -1.5% 6.5% -8.5%

Apr 21, 2020  Comment

Drought conditions in 2019 means more electricity generated using LNG and diesel this spring

Hydro plays a key role in Yukon’s electricity mix. Historically, we’ve generated over 90% of the electricity in Yukon using water. Running a hydro operation means being at the mercy of available water. We have three hydroelectric generation facilities in Whitehorse, Aishihik and Mayo. Drought conditions and low snow pack levels across much of Yukon in 2019 has resulted in lower than normal water levels at all three of our hydro reservoirs this year. Colder-than-normal temperatures between January and April 2019 also caused inflows to each of the hydro reservoirs to be lower than normal for this time of year and for more hydro power to be needed during those months. As a result, less water is available to generate the power Yukoners need this spring and we are having to use LNG and diesel to fill the gap. Unfortunately, one of our LNG units is also out-of-service for repairs meaning we’re having to use more diesel across the territory. We recognize that our diesel units are louder than our hydro and LNG units, so we are installing noise monitors and continually assessing water levels and inflows to minimize how much we run the diesel units. Please see the document below for more information about snowpack levels this year. 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. For more energy conservation tips, visit inchargeyukon.ca.