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Lots of projects, no more electricity

March 29, 2013

The Yukon has a number of advanced mining projects on the cusp of moving forward. Yet it’s isolated hydro-electric grid is tapped out. If you want to build a mine—expect to produce your own energy.

Yukon Energy (YEC)has the capacity to generate 133 megawatts of power. Ninety two megawatts of that are provided by our hydro facilities (40 megawatts at Whitehorse, 37 megawatts at Aishihik Lake and 15 megawatts at Mayo) and 39 megawatts by diesel generations, which we currently only use as back-up.

The Yukon projects that seem probable in the 5 year time horizon:


Yukon Energy has been aggressive in bringing new mining companies onto the grid, but slow in developing additional power to meet anticipated demand for electricity. The planning process for new hydro projects is both expensive and lengthy. YEC is under public pressure to keep rates low but does not face the consequences of inadequate long term supply. The regulators/politicians should address the need for additional hydro-electric energy.