The Yukon Development Corporation has released its plan to bring new hydro power to the Yukon within the next 10 to 15 years.
“Yukon’s hydro electrical supply is now close to capacity and there is no transmission connection to another jurisdiction, where power can be bought,” according to the summary of the work plan.
“In the future, it is expected that supply might need to be as much or more than double our present hydro capacity.”
The development corporation has promised to look at the possibility of one or two medium or large hydro projects to meet Yukon’s energy needs for the next 20 to 50 years.
It expects to deliver a business case outlining the proposed projects in 2015.
Potential new hydro sites have been outlined in Yukon Energy’s 20-year resource plan. Those options will be reassessed to determine which are the most viable.
“Although Yukon has numerous rivers of different sizes flowing through mountainous environments, not all are well suited for medium to large hydro,” according to the work plan.
“Hydro projects located far from existing or possible future transmission lines or along the Yukon River are not considered under the directive. Yukon’s remaining rivers are somewhat disadvantaged by geography, as most suitable rivers for medium to large projects lack waterfalls or elevation drops necessary for hydro generation.”
The development corporation has promised a series of technical papers that will look at project costs, potential environmental and socio-economic effects and other factors.
It has also promised to begin to engage the public through a series of community meetings.
The Yukon government has allocated $2 million in this year’s budget for the planning of new hydro.
It is also, in a separate project, looking at the possibility of connecting Yukon’s grid to a proposed hydro facility near Skagway, Alaska.