Published on May 16th, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill6
New Yukon Hydroelectric Work Plan Released
May 16th, 2014 by Joshua S Hill
The smallest of Canada’s three federal territories has released a new hydroelectric work plan, Next Generation Hydro for Yukon, that is the first step towards what the Yukon Government is describing as a “comprehensive investigation of a new large-scale hydroelectric power facility.”
“This work plan is a blueprint for identifying and investigating potential new hydroelectric power sites,” the minister responsible for Yukon Development Corporation, Scott Kent, said. “We’re eager to get to work on this vital project, which will bring long-term benefits to Yukon.”
“It is time for bold leadership to take charge of our energy future so that the next generation of Yukoners will be able to continue to enjoy the benefit of affordable and reliable hydroelectricity,” write the authors of the report.
Specifically, the Directive states YDC is “to plan one or more hydroelectric projects to ensure, together with supporting renewable and, to the minimum extent feasible, non‐renewable sources of electrical power, for an adequate and affordable supply of reliable and sustainable electrical power in Yukon.”
Yukon is in an untenable position, with its own hydro electrical supply nearing capacity and no connecting transmission lines that will allow the state to buy more power. Therefore, it is planning to meet mid-term needs (10-20 years) as well as long-term needs (20-50 years) with a new hydroelectric supply of energy.
The state already boasts an impressive 95% hydroelectric supply rate, but has found that extending such capacity is not as easy as it may appear for a state littered with rivers. According to the report, a number of rivers with the best hydro potential are either located in national parks or along the Yukon River — sites which are excluded from consideration. This leaves a number of major rivers, but these options are similarly limited by geography and climate.
There are a number of first steps to be made that the directive hopes will take place over the next 12 to 18 months, which include a number of technical papers and preferred site analyses. Nevertheless, though the plan may require a great deal of time to push through the stereotypical bureaucratic nonsense, Yukon does appear to be on a healthy road towards hydroelectric sustainability.
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