Ben Power, Solvest Inc. vice-president, from left, Andrew Hall, Yukon Energy president and CEO, and Ranj Pillai, energy, mines and resources minister, announce Solvest’s one-megawatt, large-scale solar project in Whitehorse on July 13. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Construction of Yukon’s largest to date solar project will begin in August

Project expected to generate enough power for 153 homes

A one-megawatt solar energy project being built by Solvest Inc. will be the largest solar array in the North, officials say.

It will feature 4,000 solar modules installed on 2.6 hectares of land off the North Klondike Highway

The project and the electricity purchase agreement for the power that will be generated and sold to Yukon Energy was announced at a press conference outside the Solvest Inc. office in Marwell on July 13.

Officials from Solvest and Yukon Energy were on-hand along with energy, mines and resources minister Ranj Pillai.

Under the agreement, Yukon Energy will purchase energy generated from the solar farm for 25 years beginning at a rate of 15.8 cents per kilowatt hour with inflationary adjustments in future years.

“By 2030, our goal is to have more than 97 per cent of the electricity generated on the Yukon grid, on average, to come from renewable sources,” Yukon Energy Corporation president and CEO Andrew Hall said. “In addition to the renewable projects we are building on our own, entering into these types of agreements with independent power producers and purchasing locally-owned and generated renewable electricity helps us reach our renewable electricity target and build a sustainable energy future in Yukon.”

The purchase agreement falls under the Yukon government’s independent power production policy’s standing offer program, which allows independent producers like Solvest to sell energy back to the grid.

“This is what we’ve wanted to see and it’s happening,” Pillai commented, after highlighting a number of other solar projects Solvest has been involved with including the installation of a 940-kW solar array owned by the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in Old Crow that’s saving approximately 190,000 litres of diesel every year.

Solvest has established itself as a solar energy leader in the North, Pillai said, highlighting its work on 340 projects in the Yukon along with 77 in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut and more in other parts of the country.

The 1.84-gigawatt hours of power the project on the North Klondike Highway is expected to produce each year represents enough energy to keep about 153 Yukon homes powered for a year, Pillai said, noting there are also many micro-generation projects adding renewable energy sources in the territory’s grid.

Speaking directly to the newest project, Solvest vice-president Ben Power pointed out it will be “entirely designed, engineered, constructed, owned, and operated by Yukoners.”

Construction is expected to begin in August and wrap up in November. At peak construction periods, the project will employ between 12 and 15 people with numbers varying at different points on the project.

“This project will provide an economically viable example of solar in the North and help encourage further development of renewable energy here and across northern Canada,” Power said. “As a local company, we look forward to working with Yukon goverment, Yukon Energy and ATCO Electric Yukon to bring this project online and begin supplying Yukoners with renewable energy for decades to come.”

At a cost of $2.1 million it’s anticipated it will be about six or seven years before it begins seeing a profit.

In a July 14 interview, NDP Leader Kate White said she’s pleased to see a local company taking on such a project that will be a positive step forward for renewable energy in the territory. She said she hopes to see more projects like this come forward, noting that while a number of First Nations and businesses are moving forward with plans to enhance renewable energy in the territory, there’s been no such investment by the Yukon government.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Patti Balsillie will be running for the mayor’s seat in Whitehorse in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Submitted)
Balsillie aims to serve as city’s mayor

Says she has the time, skill set to serve in full-time role

Mayo-Tatchun MLA Don Hutton sits on the opposition side of the legislative assembly on March 8 after announcing his resignation from the Liberal party earlier that day. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Don Hutton resigns from Liberal caucus; endorses NDP leadership

Hutton said his concerns about alcohol abuse and addictions have gone unaddressed

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read