Let mines look after their own power needs

Let mines look after their own power needs Here we go again. Yukon Energy has signed a letter of intent to negotiate an agreement to supply Copper North Mining and its Carmacks Copper project with electricity when it gets approval to open its proposed m

Here we go again. Yukon Energy has signed a letter of intent to negotiate an agreement to supply Copper North Mining and its Carmacks Copper project with electricity when it gets approval to open its proposed mine.

For the past number of years Yukon Energy has not been able to meet peak demand during the winter months without turning on the diesel generators. The cost of diesel fuel is at least one-third more than hydro-generated power, and guess what?

We, the owners and long-term users of power, are subsidizing the mining companies with cheaper power than we are required to pay. The average Yukon household consumer pays 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, and mining companies are paying 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. How can this be fair?

Yukon Energy CEO David Morrison has stated a number of times that Yukon Energy is obligated to provide electricity if mining companies want to tie into the grid.

What Mr. Morrison fails to explain that, according to the Public Utilities Act under Section 33.1, “the board shall not require a public utility to construct, maintain or operate an extension of its existing service unless in the judgement of the board

a) the extension is reasonable and practical and will furnish sufficient business to justify the expense of its construction, maintenance and operation.”

May I underline the “expense of operation”? If we presently do not have enough generation capacity, then why are we adding more mines on to the system? We know from Yukon history that mining companies have a “short shelf life” depending on the price of minerals and worldwide economies.

Yukon mines must be self-sufficient in all their needs and especially with their need for large quantities of power. We are not obligated to supply power unless we have a large surplus.

Equating the additional power needs of Whistle Bend to what future mines will need is unfair. The development of Whistle Bend is a long-term investment whereas mining operations are usually three-to-10 year operations.

Have we not learned anything from Faro and other mines that have cost the Yukon consumer millions of dollars in infrastructure building and long-term operations?

Let’s get off this kick that we need to drain our already overworked power system so we can then justify the need for liquefied natural gas generation to meet all these needs. LNG is finite and will eventually not be available, as people in Inuvik have found out. They must now truck LNG or propane thousands of kilometres from the south to Inuvik. How practical is this?

Yukon Energy needs to look at long-term sustainable energy sources, such as wind, solar, bio-mass, etc.

Let the mining industry look after its own electricity needs, unless they would like to help us develop sustainable energy.

Donald Roberts

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Copper Ridge resident clears their driveway after a massive over night snowfall in Whitehorse on Nov. 2, 2020. Environment Canada has issued a winter storm warning for the Whitehorse and Haines Junction areas for Jan. 18. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Winter storm warning for Haines Junction and Whitehorse

Environment Canada says the storm will develop Monday and last until Tuesday

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

Most Read