The Southern Lakes Enhanced Storage Concept would see us storing more water in Marsh, Tagish and Bennett lakes in the fall and early winter to be used during the winter at our Whitehorse hydro plant. This would help us generate more electricity using water each winter, and reduce the amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and diesel we need to use.

It proposes a change to our existing water license so we can store more water each fall and early winter to use during winter months. It considers a revision to the existing Full Supply Level (the controlled maximum lake level stipulated in our water license) of 30 centimetres for a limited period in the late fall, and a change of 10 centimetres to the Low Supply Level during the spring. In many years the water level of the Southern Lakes naturally exceeds this conceptual Full Supply Level.

Project benefits

  • An additional 6.5 gigawatt hours of renewable electricity would be generated each winter (enough to power some 500 homes)
  • Greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by about 3,100 tonnes a year (about the same as taking 650 cars off the road each year)
  • Yukoners would save about $1 million a year in costs we currently incur to use LNG and diesel to generate electricity
  • No new dams are needed

We would manage water levels within their natural range using our existing Marsh Lake control structure. What you would see is that, in the fall and early winter, water levels would look about the same as they do in late summer. The rest of the year, the lakes would look just as they normally do.

We’ve spent the last ten years researching, studying, collecting data, reviewing impacts and proposing solutions to address the potential issues. We’re convinced that holding some of summer’s water for an additional two to three months in fall and early winter is manageable and will help us generate more renewable electricity in winter months.