Responding to recent comments on our Whitehorse Relicensing Project Proposal

Mar 26, 2024  Comment

As many Yukoners know, our hydro facilities are the main reason we can generate over 90% renewable electricity in the territory. We are in the process of relicensing two of our hydro facilities, the Whitehorse Rapids Generating Station and the Mayo Generating Station.

We know that our hydro facilities have impacts on fish. We are committed to reducing these impacts on salmon and other fish species and are having discussions with First Nation governments in the project areas, as well as with the territorial and federal governments, to determine the best way forward. This work requires time and significant investment.

Regarding Yukon Energy’s Whitehorse Rapids Generating Station Relicensing Project Proposal

We are aware of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)’s submission to YESAB about our Whitehorse project proposal and agree that the information they have referenced is important. The information wasn’t included in our project proposal because we understood the information to be required at a later stage in assessment and regulatory processes. We are clarifying with DFO what information would be helpful to them, and when.

While this is the first time the Whitehorse Rapids Generating Station (WRGS) requires a Fisheries Act Authorization to operate, we have collaborated with DFO over the years to manage impacts to fish at the WRGS. DFO helped to design the current fish ladder at the dam when it was built in 1959. When the fourth turbine was added in 1984, DFO required the Whitehorse fish hatchery be built and operated. Annually, we work together on hatchery targets like salmon broodstock and juveniles released. Like other governments, DFO has been engaged during the multi-year planning process to develop our project proposal.

The information we did provide in our project proposal is based on decades of operational information and several years of studies. We are confident in the information we have, while also recognizing there’s more to learn. We will continue to work with all governments to better understand and mitigate the effects of the facility on fish in the near and long term.


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