Yukon Energy has announced plans to complete the work necessary to select a site for a five to ten megawatt wind farm in the territory.
Starting next year, the Corporation will install wind monitoring equipment on Mount Sumanik near Whitehorse. The equipment will allow Yukon Energy to gather a full year of wind data at the site. The information will be similar in scope to that gathered at Tehcho near Stewart Crossing, the other location Yukon Energy is considering for a wind farm.
“We recognize that wind is a valuable option in our energy tool box,” Yukon Energy President Andrew Hall said. “It is renewable, can be developed in a reasonable time frame, and is scalable. We see this as an appropriate mid-scale solution to meet the territory’s mid-term electricity needs.”
Once the Corporation has data from both sites, it can update its energy yield and cost estimates for the development of similar-sized wind farms at those two locations. It can then choose the best site to take forward for more detailed engineering and assessment work.
“Since wind power is intermittent, it is challenging to integrate as an energy source into an isolated grid such as ours,” Hall added. “That’s why, as a key part of this work, we will be taking a close look at the integration of wind energy into our system and assessing different technologies and options for firming up wind supply.”
Over the next 18 months, Yukon Energy plans to engage with First Nations, stakeholders, and members of the public on key topics related to this work.
Yukon Energy Corporation
Yukon Energy currently has two wind turbines on Haeckel Hill in the Whitehorse area:
Bonus – 150 kW unit installed in 1993
Vestas – 600 kW unit installed in 2000
The Bonus has reached the end of its life and will be decommissioned in 2015.
The Bonus will not be replaced. Instead, Yukon Energy will focus on doing the work necessary to have a wind project of between five to ten megawatts shelf-ready so it can be built once the load growth develops and other relevant conditions are met.
The Corporation is considering two options: 1) a wind farm on Tehcho (formerly Ferry Hill) near Stewart Crossing in the Central Yukon; and 2) a wind farm on Mount Sumanik near Whitehorse.
Wind data collection at Tehcho was completed in 2014. Previous to that, Yukon Energy collected some data from Mount Sumanik, but the information was incomplete. The Corporation needs to collect further data from the Mount Sumanik site over the next 18 months, so an ‘apples to apples’ comparison can be made of the two locations.
Because of the intermittent nature of wind power, Yukon Energy is looking at a number of technologies for integrating wind into the Yukon grid. Historically the options available in the territory included diesel back-up and hydro spinning reserve, but there are number of emerging technologies the Corporation plans to look at, including large scale batteries, compressed air storage and ultracapacitors. Integration with options such as pump storage and electrical thermal storage will also be reviewed as part of the study.
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