He points north. He points south. He points east …

May we suggest Yukon Energy buy a weather vane. It should put it atop its office complex, in some prominent position. And it could fashion the ornament in the image of president David Morrison, perhaps with his finger raised to test the direction of the ... wind.

May we suggest Yukon Energy buy a weather vane.

It should put it atop its office complex, in some prominent position.

And it could fashion the ornament in the image of president David Morrison, perhaps with his finger raised to test the direction of the … wind.

A fitting symbol, don’t you think?

Morrison, frantically flitting left and right, pointing in a different direction every day. Heck, every hour.

And ratepayers could gather on Robert Service Way and watch Morrison doing pirouettes, twizzles and 180s in the face of coming storms – just like real life.

In October 2009, Morrison dismissed wind as a viable power generator in the territory.

The Yukon can’t generate enough wind to make turbines efficient, he said just 15 months ago.

They only generate power 15 per cent of the time.

And, even if the territory could achieve 30 per cent efficiency, which it never could, it wouldn’t be good enough. Yukon Energy would have to fire up the diesels the other 70 per cent of the time. And that would blow the economics of wind “out of the water,” he said.

Yukon Energy was so contemptuous of wind, it neglected its Haeckel Hill test facility.

Wind? Forgetaboutit, said Morrison.


Fast forward to January and a chamber luncheon filled with businessmen hyped about the territory’s red-hot mining industry – a boom limited only by Yukon Energy’s failure to plan for future power needs.

Currently, the territory’s power grid produces 375 gigawatt hours of energy. Some projections suggest it will need another 200 by 2016.

This year, it is burning expensive, dirty diesel by the bucketful – up to 600,000 litres from 138,000 litres in 2009 on the Dawson grid alone. At 30 cents a kilowatt hour, that’s costing the utility a fortune.

Morrison’s solution?


The corporation is suddenly talking up a wind farm on Ferry Hill.

We’ll get 30 per cent efficiency, he said.

Now, remember just a few months ago that was impossible. And even if it was possible, it wouldn’t be good enough because you’d still have to burn diesel and it would sink the economics.


It should be economical, he said.

Under ideal conditions, how much energy will a Ferry Hill wind farm produce?

About 20 gigawatt hours. Maybe less, he said.

He doesn’t know.

The cost of building it?

About $70 million. Maybe more, he said.

He doesn’t know.

How much would it cost per kilowatt hour?

He doesn’t know.

It has the whiff of desperation about it.

Facing a slew of new mines, the Crown-owned energy corporation has failed to find enough power for them and residents.

It faces a shortage.

It is going to burning diesel. A lot of diesel.

That means we’re all going to pay more for power. Significantly more.

And there’s an election coming. So Morrison is floating wind energy – relatively cheap, clean and, of course, doable.

A simple way to mollify the public in the face of a crisis.

The only problem, as he noted just a few short months ago, is that it is not really viable in the territory.

And so Morrison pivots, points this way. Points that way.

But remains anchored in the same spot.


Fetch your chequebooks, everyone. When something’s scarce, the price rises.

The cost of power is going up.

All you have to do is watch Morrison.

He’s the weather vane.

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