Yukon Energy celebrates marriage of two grids

The Yukon’s two major energy transmission grids were connected last week. The completed project was celebrated on Friday afternoon with the click of a mouse.

The Yukon’s two major energy transmission grids were connected last week.

The completed project was celebrated on Friday afternoon with the click of a mouse.

Territorial MP Ryan Leaf and Premier Darrell Pasloski, representing the two governments that ponied up most of the cash for the project, stood in front of a bank of monitors in Yukon Energy’s system control centre.

On one of the screens was a simplistic image of the territory and its transmission grids – the southern one running from Aishihik to Faro and the northern from Dawson to Mayo.

A line has been built connecting the two grids. When a simple button was clicked by the politicians, some lights blinked green, symbolically unifying the Yukon’s energy transmission system.

It was like a video game – an expensive and boring video game.

The actual hookup was a little more complicated, and was completed by technicians on Thursday night.

Prior to that, both grids were running diesel generators – the southern grid because of work being done on the Aishihik plant, and the northern grid because of excess demand.

“We’re not going to get the real benefit from the connection for several more months,” said Yukon Energy president David Morrison.

The Mayo B project is currently under budget and ahead of schedule, said Morrison.

The plant should be completed a month early, in November.

This is well ahead of March 2012, the deadline for the federal stimulus money that funded the project.

The Mayo plant will be shut down at 6 p.m. today in order to complete work on the Mayo B project.

There’s still a lot of work to do.

New turbines need to be installed. They’re currently somewhere in the Pacific, making their way to the Yukon from China.

An 11-metre-long intake tunnel also has to be created.

The Aishihik plant came back online on Sunday, although the new third turbine will not be operational until this fall.

Last Friday marked a major phase in the Yukon Green Energy Legacy Project, said Pasloski.

“A major commitment in Yukon’s energy strategy was the development of a territorial-wide grid,” he said.

“And our government was fortunate enough to have the first project approved under the government of Canada’s Green Infrastructure Fund.”

Ottawa is contributing up to $71 million towards $161 million worth of energy projects in the Yukon.

“Our government has received a strong mandate from Canadian’s to focus on the economy,” said Leaf.

“This targeted investment in green infrastructure will not only improve the quality of the environment, but will lead to a more sustainable economy and energy source for Yukon.”

The grid connection was the second and final stage of the Carmacks–Stewart Transmission project.

Stage one was completed in 2008, creating lines from Carmacks to Pelly Crossing as well as a Spur to the Minto mine.

Once Mayo B and Aishihik Three are both on line, Yukon Energy should be able to meet the territory’s current energy needs without burning diesel, said Morrison.

And the newly connected grid will offer more flexibility and stability to the Yukon’s transmission system.

“At some points it’ll be the Mayo plant benefiting the Whitehorse area and, at different points in time, it’ll be going the other way,” said Morrison.

“It just depends on where the loads are what the requirements are.”

Contact Chris Oke at chriso@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target


Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Most Read