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Letters: Economics related To Yukon Wind Power versus Atlin Hydro

Yukoners Concerned congratulates Chu Niikwan the economic development arm of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation, for planning and commencing the building of four wind towers on Haeckel Hill.

The Haeckel Hill Eagle Wind Project will produce eight gigawatt hours(GWh) of energy annually and will power at least 650 homes. The predicted cost for the construction of the four wind towers is $25 million.

Yukoners Concerned is elated that Kwanlin Dun First Nation will wholly own the Haeckel Hill Eagle Wind Farm. The payback for the total investment will be eight years.

The power purchase contract for the wind electicity with Yukon Energy will be for 25 years.

The past six years of wind studies on Haeckel Hill show that the peak wind production, in Whitehorse, occurs in the winter months when, we need the most energy.

Yukoners Concerned has been pressing Yukon Energy since 2012 to utilize one of our most obvious natural resources ‘wind’ to help eliminate our reliance on fossil fuel generation.

With costs ballooning out of control on the Atlin Hydro Project, rising from the original projection of $120 million to $230 million in March 2022 and then to $330 million in February 2023, this project has lost whatever viability it might have originally had.

The Atlin Hydro project would produce 31 gigawatt hours of annual electricity at today’s estimated cost of $330 million. The Atlin hydro project has not yet started construction.

To provide electricity to the Yukon grid a 100 km transmission line will have to be built from Jakes Corner along the road to Atlin, through rugged mountainous terrain.

The Haeckel Hill Wind Project constructed three of the four tower bases in 2022. The fourth base and the towers will be installed this summer in 2023 producing electricity this fall.

The Haeckel Hill Wind Project will be built adjacent to Whitehorse, and will be connected to the already existing Fish Lake transmission Line.

Additional wind turbines could be constructed on adjacent, Mt. Sumanik, Montana Mountain in Carcross and at the Faro mine. Each of these regions has already existent transmission lines to Whitehorse and proven long term wind studies.

One of the basic concerns is the Atlin Hydro Project, will not be built in the Yukon and will not be owned or controlled by Yukoners.

Whereas, the Haeckel Wind Project is built in the Yukon and is owned by Yukon First Nations.

Future construction of Yukon wind farms could be added in the Yukon starting today, providing for investment by Yukoners who would like to support future renewable projects.

The Atlin Hydro Project has not started construction, and it may take at least 10 years to complete this project before we see power produced.

The Haeckel Hill Wind Project will be producing power this Fall and was built over a three year period.

Do Canadian and Yukon taxpayers want to invest over $330 million (as stated in Yukon Energy’s 10 year plan) to produce a possible 31 gigawatt hours of hydro electricity when we could spend less than half of that on wind turbines for the same output?

We believe that Yukoners want renewable energy that is reasonably priced, owned and controlled by Yukoners.

It is important that all Yukoners let politicians know they want ‘made in the Yukon solutions’ to our energy needs.

Please write your MLA.

Thank you.

Donald J Roberts

Chair – Yukoners Concerned