Come clean on LNG generators

Come clean on LNG generators Open Letter to David Morrison, CEO Yukon Energy and Piers McDonald, Chair Yukon Energy Board of Directors: Yukon Energy boasts about how good a corporate citizen it is and how it consults before making any decisions which aff

Open Letter to David Morrison, CEO Yukon Energy and Piers McDonald, Chair Yukon Energy Board of Directors:

Yukon Energy boasts about how good a corporate citizen it is and how it consults before making any decisions which affect their ratepayers. Well, you have heard loud and clear from an overwhelming number of Yukoners that do not want to substitute diesel with liquid natural gas (LNG). Especially at this point in time, with an initial cost of $34.5 million and who knows how much once you are finished with this delusion of grandeur.

If you, Piers or David, ran your businesses like you do our publicly-owned corporation, you would be bankrupt in a few years. An astute private businessperson who needs to replace a couple of older diesel generators, used principally for backup in Whitehorse when our hydro facilities fail, would simply go the cheapest route to replace these diesels. If you indeed even have to replace them.

You say they cannot be rebuilt, but this is hard to believe. Especially, when in the same breath you say you already have a buyer for them. From this premise, you conclude we need new ones which will cost about the same as the new LNG ones? This is also hard to believe. You say you would need to revamp your diesel shop at a phenomenal cost. This is also hard to believe.

Even if all of the above were true, a real devoted entrepreneur would find a solution for a few million dollars to get the best bang for your buck. Buy some used ones maybe?

Example, check out After all, these would only be needed a few times a year for back-up when hydro shuts down! Yukon Energy and Yukon Electrical already have more than ample generators to provide for any hydro shortage during peak-hour loads. How many years of diesel consumption for back-up generation would this $30 million buy?

There appears to be an ulterior motive behind your scheme to push for LNG. I have been to many so-called consultation gatherings since your Energy Charette on alternative energy solutions and have never heard anyone but you, your bureaucrats and your million-dollar consultant from Winnipeg encourage LNG.

During the last 20 Year Resource Plan proceedings, you proposed to buy the diesel generators used by the Minto mine until they hooked onto the grid. Interveners, like the UCG, fought this issue as evidence showed they were not needed at the time and the Yukon Utilities Board agreed with us. Now that we may indeed need them, you could buy these and move them to Whitehorse for backup. Or you could move some of our spare diesels from Faro or Mayo or Dawson. Certainly you do not need all this backup in these small communities.

As well, you should stop holding back the facilitation of net metering which would allow citizens to become self-sufficient in their energy needs (i.e. buy and build small wind, solar, run-of river, etc. plants) and sell extra power to the grid to make it economically doable for them. Would this not remove some of this need for back up generation?

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group

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