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Electrical battery, commercial land planned for Robert Service Way property

Whitehorse city council will have to decide on property rezoning to allow the project.

Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) plans to lease some of its land to the Yukon Energy Corporation as the site of an energy storage battery.

Whitehorse City Council heard about the plan at it’s Dec. 6 meeting.

The city will have to decide on the rezoning of the property at a later meeting in order to allow its use for the battery and commercial development on the remaining land.

The property in question is located at the northeast corner of the Robert Service Way and Alaska Highway intersection. It is a 26.7 acre parcel of Kwanlin Dün settlement land. Chu Níikwän Limited Partnership, KDFN’s development corporation, proposed the rezoning of the land which is currently zoned FN-FP – First Nation – Future Planning. It must be rezoned to allow development.

The Yukon Energy Corporation intends to lease 4.1 acres of the subject land for a new Battery Energy Storage System and so the KDFN development corporation is seeking the rezoning of that part of the property to FN-PU – First Nations – Public Utilities.

According to the report read to Whitehorse council, Yukon Energy chose the site based on consultation with the public, with First Nations and because of its proximity to existing infrastructure.

“The batteries are planned to be stored in metal containers and equipped with an automated system for detection and suppression of fire. YEC will also coordinate with the Whitehorse Fire Services department to prepare a fire response plan,” the report reads.

Coun. Kirk Cameron asked about any possible risk regarding the battery system’s proximity to Yukon Energy’s liquefied natural gas plant

Karmen Whitbread, the city planner who presented the report, noted that an assessment by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assesment Board

(YESAB) found the presents a very low risk of fire or explosion. The report says it also has a low chance of creating a noise nuisance.

Chu Níikwän Limited Partnership the rezoning of the remaining 22.5 acres of the site to FN-CIM – First Nation – Mixed Use Commercial/Industrial to allow for the potential development of four commercial or industrial lots.

According to city reporting, the proposed development will have on-site services rather than utilizing municipal water or sewer services. Road access will be through vacant land to the east of the parcel and will connect with the Robert Service Way and Ear Lake Road intersection.

Whitbread told council that this use of the land aligns with the recommendations that followed a 2018 study into land use in the Robert Service Way area. He said it will also help meet the city’s need for at least another 56.8 acres of commercial and industrial land by 2040.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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