Ask Steph: Why the rental diesels?

Energy Supply, Reliability

Dec 19, 2019  Comment

Today's question: Why the diesels? Is it the low-water that’s requiring the diesels to run at this time of year? It doesn’t seem that cold. I would’ve thought our hydro generation would be sufficient to keep us all warm and our Christmas lights glowing. I’m also curious about whether there’s still a couple diesels in the big blue shed. They seem to have a lower more bass thrum compared to the rentals.

Hi. Thanks for your questions.

At Yukon Energy, we're committed to ensuring that Yukoners have the electricity they need when and where they need it. Since our electrical grid is "islanded", meaning that it isn't connected to the grid in another province, territory or state, we also only have ourselves to rely on to supply the power Yukoners need 365 days a year.

As Yukon continues to grow, so too does the demand for reliable and dependable sources of electricity. We've found that under certain emergency conditions, for example, if we were to lose our largest source of power (our Aishihik hydro plant) during the cold winter months, we wouldn't be able to meet electricity demand during peak times.

To address this concern, we've rented diesel generators again this winter - nine this year that can provide about 18 megawatts of power if needed in an emergency situation. You might have seen or heard them running briefly a couple of times over the last few weeks as we've been testing them to ensure they are installed properly and ready to go.

As for what's in our big blue shed, three diesel generators we've had in there since the 1950s have been retired and were removed this past November. That would explain why you haven't heard the bass drumming from the facility recently. Four, much quieter, diesel generators still remain in the building. We're cleaning up the space once occupied by the three vintage engines right now and looking at options of how best to use it. Unfortunately, the space is too small to fit all the rentals we needed this year, hence the reason why they are in our parking lot!



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