In addition to expanding hydro and natural gas capacity, Yukon is taking measures to grow its share of wind, solar and biomass energy. There is currently just under 1 MW of wind and solar power each connected to the Yukon grid.
Yukon Energy operates two wind turbines located on Haeckel Hill near Whitehorse. It is also currently considering building a 5-10 MW wind farm and is currently evaluating its feasibility at two sites [i]. In addition, it has installed a 10-kW solar energy system on the south facing wall of its main administration building in Whitehorse and is conducting a feasibility study with the Yukon Research Centre to turn food and yard waste into renewable electricity [ii].
In late October 2015, the Yukon government announced Independent Power Producers Policy to support Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in developing and selling renewable energy to YEC or ATCO Electric Yukon. It establishes a target of 10% of new electrical demand to be met by IPPs and for 50% of IPP projects to have a Yukon First Nation ownership component. Under the policy, a Standing Offer Program will offer contracts for renewable systems (wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro) between 30 kW and 1,000 kW in nameplate capacity.
In addition, the Micro-generation policy and program both residential and industrial utility customers have the opportunity to produce renewable electricity for their own consumption and export the surplus to the grid for reimbursement. Eligible generation sources include wind, micro-hydro, biomass, and solar power. Program participants connected to Yukon’s integrated hydro system receive $0.21/kWh for their renewable power while those producing renewable energy in communities powered by diesel receive $0.30/kWh. Project size is limited to 5kW for customers on a shared transformer, and less than 25 kW on a single transformer. However, projects up to 50 kW will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
In addition, the Yukon government’s Good Energy program offers an incentive of up to $5,000 to offset the cost of installing a solar PV, wind, hydro, biomass or geothermal system.
[i] Yukon energy, 2015d. “Wind”, https://www.yukonenergy.ca/energy-in-yukon/our-projects-facilities/alternative-electricity/wind-energy-project/)
[ii] Yukon Energy, 2015e. “Solar” https://www.yukonenergy.ca/energy-in-yukon/our-projects-facilities/alternative-electricity/solar-energy-demonstration-project/