Yukon University (YukonU) researchers have received $5.5 million in federal funding to study how to bring more renewable energy to remote communities.
The university’s Northern Energy Innovation (NEI) research program will be using the funding to study carbon capture and storage, as well as how to keep advancing the transition to renewable energy, specifically in rural areas.
The funding, which was announced May 10, was obtained through academic partnerships with the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, and the University of Toronto.
Michael Ross, research chair of the YukonU energy innovation program, will be working with his team over the next seven years on what has been dubbed the Accelerating Community Energy Transformation (ACET) project.
“[ACET] will provide us with the ability to support community-driven renewable energy projects, where we can utilize our strengths through our academic partnerships to better support communities undergoing energy transitions,” Ross told the News in a phone interview. That project is earmarked to receive $3.7 million of the federal funding.
To understand how remote northern populations can utilize carbon capture and storage technologies, Ross and his team will also participate in the CANSTOREnergy research project, as well as examine how communities can benefit from surplus renewable energy to create carbon-neutral fuel sources.
According to Ross, NEI’s projects aim to help address the needs of remote northern communities, particularly during the winter months when ensuring energy security can be challenging.
In pursuit of this goal, the research team works closely with local Indigenous groups, such as the Vuntut Gwitchin Government in Old Crow, an active participant in the two projects.
“We are looking at the different needs of communities, as far as developing energy solutions while understanding the holistic needs of these communities,” Ross said.
“One thing that excites me about this project is not what we do, but how we do it. We are supporting communities to make sure they are the ones driving the bus and moving towards a sustainable future.”
Contact Mathew Bossons at firstname.lastname@example.org