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:

Janet Patterson
Manager, Communications
Yukon Energy Corporation
Phone: (867) 393-5333

Jun 24, 2010  Comment

Four Decades on the Job

After working 39 years in the same industry, most of us would be ready to happily settle into retirement. Not Maintenance Electrician Ed Chaplin! For him, the work just gets more and more interesting and he has no plans to leave Yukon Energy any time soon. Ed, who is Yukon Energy’s longest serving employee, started work with our predecessor the Northern Canada Power Commission in May 1971. He began his career in Yellowknife as an Apprentice Electrician and System/Plant Operator, moving to Whitehorse in 1975 just as he was finishing up his training. He chuckles as he recalls those early days at the Whitehorse plant. “There were two caterpillar engines in the electricians’ bay of the diesel plant. The big garage door was open and I remember in the winter, everyone wanted to park their vehicles near those engines. That’s because the heat they gave off kept people’s cars warm.” In fact he says some staff parked their vehicles right inside the hydro plant, something that would never be allowed today for safety reasons. “It’s definitely a far safer place to work now,” Ed says. “A lot more thought goes into what we do and why we do it, so that’s greatly improved.” Another huge change is the move to automation. Yukon Energy’s system has advanced to the point where staff can control the Corporation’s entire Yukon-wide system using computers. “As an electrician starting out, I never used computers for anything. Today computers are an essential part of your tool kit. If you don’t have access to a computer it’s like having a hand removed!” In the early days when Ed needed to do testing on a hydro unit, the work required the use of four huge instruments that weighed about 50 pounds each. They had to be crated up in weatherproof boxes, driven to the worksite, and linked together. The job would require a half a day for set up, two days for testing, and another half a day for disassembly. Today that same task requires one piece of computerized equipment and the work can easily be done in a day. The advances in technology are one of the things that keep Ed interested in his work. That, and the fact that Yukon Energy has so much challenging work on the horizon. “There’s the linking of the two transmission grids, the building of more sub-stations, there’s Aishihik 3 and Mayo B. I’m interested in being a part of it all,” Ed says. “One thing is for sure: I don’t think the job will ever be boring!” The photo seen above was taken of Ed several years ago. Nowadays, the rules regarding personal protection equipment (PPE) are more strict. All Yukon Energy staff are required to wear appropriate PPE, which depending on the employee’s location (in the field, in a generation plant, etc.) could include high visible vests, hard hats, steel toed boots and eye and hearing protection.  

Feb 26, 2009  Comment

The History of Power in Yukon

We thought you might be interested in learning about Yukon's electrical history. Here is a brief summary: Early 1900s: The completion of the White Pass and Yukon Railway from Skagway to Whitehorse made it possible to transport the heavy equipment necessary to build hydroelectric facilities. Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. started generating electricity for people in Whitehorse using a wood-fired steam engine. It only supplied power from the time it got dark until about midnight. In the winter, power was also supplied for a short period every morning. 1930s: The introduction of household appliances created a greater demand for electricity in the Whitehorse area. Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. made power available on Monday mornings for washing and on Tuesday mornings for ironing. 1935: Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. began supplying power on a 24-hour basis. 1940s: The construction of the Alaska Highway brought a large influx of U.S. army personnel to Whitehorse. While Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. continued to serve civilians, the army supplied its own power, using diesel generators. When the American army left, it gave the diesels to the Canadian army. 1948: The Northwest Territories Power Commission, a federal Crown Corporation, was established to oversee the construction and operation of power plants in the northern territories.The federal government took on this task in Yukon because it didn’t feel Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. had the financial means to meet the growing demand for electricity in the territory. The agency was later renamed the Northern Canada Power Commission. 1949: Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. started operating a small hydro facility at Fish Lake near Whitehorse. 1951: The Northern Canada Power Commission built the Mayo hydro plant to serve the United Keno Hill Mine in Elsa. 1958: The Northern Canada Power Commission completed and began operating the Whitehorse hydro dam. As a result, power rates decreased by about 16 percent. Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. was sold to an Alberta firm, Canadian Utilities. 1975: The Northern Canada Power Commission built the Aishihik hydro facility to provide additional power to Whitehorse, and to serve the Faro mine. 1980: Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. became a member of the ATCO group of companies, after Alberta-based ATCO took over ownership of Canadian Utilities. 1987: All the Northern Canada Power Commission's assets in Yukon were devolved to the territorial government. The Yukon government formed Yukon Energy to take over these assets. Yukon Energy, in turn, asked the Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. to manage and operate the generating facilities. 1997: Yukon Energy decided not to renew our contract with Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. but instead we opted to operate and manage our own assets. It has been that way ever since, with Yukon Energy being the main producer of power, and Yukon Electrical Company Ltd. being the main distributor.