Yukoners have until Friday to comment on the Yukon government’s draft independent power production policy.
Once implemented, it will allow smaller independent power generation projects to sell energy to Yukon’s grid and off-grid communities.
The draft policy does not focus exclusively on energy from renewable sources, and that has the Yukon Conservation Society concerned.
The draft policy also “calls for the replacement of imported diesel fuel with Yukon’s oil and gas resources.”
Conservationists say that independent power production should only be generated by, and purchased from, renewable energy sources.
The NDP Opposition is also critical of the policy, saying it opens the door to using liquefied natural gas, including fracked Yukon gas, to feed the electricity grid.
The draft policy divides proposed projects into two categories.
Smaller projects selling either to Yukon’s main grid or to Watson Lake will get a guaranteed price per kilowatt hour. Those projects have to be fuelled by renewable energy sources.
For the second category, for larger projects, both renewable and natural gas fuelled projects will be considered.
When the draft policy was released, Energy Minister Scott Kent said it could help smaller communities stop burning diesel.
“We want to look to a cleaner-burning fuel, and we feel that natural gas is a cleaner burning fuel,” he said in May.
It also could help mining companies that wish to fuel operations with liquefied natural gas, and sell excess power.
The draft policy is available for review at www.energy.gov.yk.ca.