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Powering up the Klondike

Solar project begins operations
The Klondike Development Organization’s solar array is seen at the site of Dawson’s former landfill. (Matthew Rushworthy/Submitted)

A 199 kW AC solar project in Dawson is in full operation.

The Klondike Development Organization (KDO) announced March 10 that its Dome Road Solar Independent Power Production project has begun converting the spring sunlight into energy.

Offsetting carbon emissions

The solar facility was put in place at the site of Dawson’s former landfill. Through a lease with the City of Dawson, what would otherwise be unusable land is now being used for the solar generating system aimed at offsetting the community’s carbon footprint, KDO noted in a statement.

“The KDO Dome Road Solar Independent Power project has combined solar photovoltaics with a municipally-owned former municipal landfill site to deliver renewable energy to the Yukon electrical grid,” Dawson Mayor Bill Kendrick said. “The City of Dawson hopes the success of this project will help motivate residents, businesses, organizations and governments to initiate more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in our territory, which will help speed our society’s transition to a renewable, low-carbon energy future.”

It’s anticipated the project will generate 280 MWh of energy each year, enough to power approximately 25 homes in the territory.

The work to get here

The effort to bring the project to fruition has been a few years in the making.

Evelyn Pollock, KDO’s project manager, said in a March 14 interview that when the territory first announced its Independent Power Production Policy in 2015 allowing independent power producers to sell power back to the grid, KDO began wondering whether it might be something it could do.

“We saw it as a possibility,” Pollock said, after pointing out the organization looks for social enterprise projects and looks for ways it can be more self-sufficient and not rely as much on government funds.

Feasibility and financial planning work followed, as did efforts to find a site.

Eventually the community’s former landfill site was selected, though with that came environmental considerations and reports to be done and continued feasibility work.

Consultation with First Nations, Yukon Energy, stakeholders and the community were also part of the work to determine whether the project could go ahead.

“All the way along, we were really encouraged,” Pollock said as she recalled the majority of those involved in the consultations wanting to see a solar project in Dawson going ahead.

While Pollock said the project is fairly small compared to other solar projects, she noted it is a good fit for the KDO as well as for the space available at the former landfill site.

The KDO pointed out in a statement that while most of the territory’s power needs are supplied by hydroelectricity, generators are used in the colder seasons in Dawson to meet demands.

It’s anticipated the solar project will offset greenhouse gas emissions by 91 to 122 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.


The financial benefits of the project were also highlighted.

The first 10 years will see costs recovered, but profits are anticipated longer-term that will be reinvested into local activities as the KDO is a non-profit.

Pollock said the project cost about $700,000 with funding coming from a number of sources including federal government funds, Yukon government funds and the City of Dawson.

“The Dome Road Solar Independent Power project is helping the Yukon transition to renewable energy sources while ensuring energy rates remain low for Yukoners,” Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker said. “Congratulations to the Klondike Development Organization on the commissioning of their new solar energy generating system. We are pleased to see this third independent power production project come online this year that will help the Yukon meet its climate goals under Our Clean Future. Our government will continue to support forward-looking projects like this that contribute to the Yukon’s transition towards a clean energy future.”

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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