Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Atlin hydro project progresses

Officials reflect on milestones reached

The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months.

Yukon Energy highlighted the milestones reached in a Feb. 25 statement about the project which would see an increase in renewable hydroelectricity to the territory.

The project is expected to add 8.5 megawatts of capacity to Yukon’s grid. It’s also expected to generate about 45 gigawatt hours of hydroelectricity annually — roughly the same amount of electricity used by 3,750 Yukon homes annually.

“Purchasing power from the planned Atlin Hydro Expansion project is another way that Yukon Energy is working hard to make more renewable electricity available to Yukoners and to reduce our reliance on diesel in the near future,” Andrew Hall, Yukon Energy’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

“This project is also special because of the opportunity it provides us to work directly with yet another First Nation government and development corporation to build the clean energy future that Yukoners need and want.”

In August 2020, the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited and Yukon Energy signed an agreement in principle to work towards advancing the project and negotiate an electricity purchase agreement for it.

Since then, the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership has secured $2.5 million in federal funding for a preliminary design and engineering for the project.

Work is also underway by both parties for additional government grant funding towards construction of the project.

“The Government of Yukon is pleased to support this partnership between Yukon Energy and the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership,” Ranj Pillai, the minister responsible for the Yukon Energy Corporation, said.

“The Atlin Hydro Expansion project will address Yukon’s growing demand for energy and help us meet the 97 per cent renewable electricity goal in Our Clean Future, our government’s climate change, energy and green economy strategy for the territory. Collaborating with First Nations to expand renewable energy capacity will create economic opportunities and keep our economy strong and resilient.”

On December 23, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation issued a clan directive outlining that, subject to successful permitting approval by the B.C. and the First Nation environmental review processes, the First Nation supports the Atlin Hydro Expansion project advancing to financing, construction and operation.

In follow-up, in January of this year, environmental permitting applications were submitted to British Columnia authorities for the planned expansion of its Atlin facilities. Permitting applications were also submitted to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board for the project’s transmission connection to Jake’s Corner.

Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy are continuing to negotiate an Electricity Purchase Agreement, which will outline the price Yukon Energy will pay Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership for the electricity generated and additional capacity made available by the planned project. Both parties aim to have an agreement in place this spring.

“Socially, culturally, and economically we are Yukoners and so we are honoured to be able to share our resources to provide a cleaner energy future for Yukoners and a brighter future for our citizens and all Atlinites,” Peter Kirby, president and CEO of the Taku Group of Companies, said in a statement.

The proposed project is projected to be complete in 2024.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Yukon Energy

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