Whitehorse Daily Star

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WIND ENERGY PROPOSAL – A proposal to install three modern wind turbines with heated blades on Haeckel Hill has been filed with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. The above image was provided by the Whitehorse company proposing the project. Image courtesy of NORTHERN ENERGY CAPITAL OLDER MODEL – The newest of Yukon Energy’s two wind turbines on Haeckel Hill was installed in 2000. Both turbines have had issues over the years with icing. STAR FILE PHOTO Inset: SHANE ANDRE

Turbines would power several hundred dwellings

A proposal to install enough wind generation on Haeckel Hill to power 525 homes

By Chuck Tobin on April 19, 2017

A proposal to install enough wind generation on Haeckel Hill to power 525 homes has been filed with the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.

Northern Energy Capital of Whitehorse is proposing to put up three, 900-kilowatt turbines for a total generating capacity of 2.7 megawatts.

Company president Malek Tawashy said Northern Energy wants to attract investment from First Nation development corporations and the general public to create community buy-in.

“That is important to us, to be community-based and to have some aspect of community ownership,” Tawashy said this morning from his office in Vancouver.

“We can’t succeed in being sustainable generation unless everybody wins.”

He said two development corporations are currently doing their due diligence to determine whether they’ll invest in the project.

Northern Energy has the financial capacity to go forward with the $14-million project without additional outside investment, Tawashy said, but the company is committed to the development of community-owned renewable energy.

He said until more is known about what the Yukon government is willing to pay for the power, it’s difficult to determine how much a public share in the company would sell for.

Moving the project forward is largely dependent on the power purchase agreement with the government and how soon those details can be worked out, Tawashy said.

He said Northern Energy will be shovel-ready in the first three months of next year.

If the power purchase agreement comes together, it would be generating power next year.

The company has entered into a sublease with Yukon Energy to use the site, which includes taking down the corporation’s 150-kilowatt Bonus wind turbine installed in 1993, Tawashy said. The Bonus has been inoperable for several years.

Tawashy said there’s no plan currently to remove Yukon Energy’s newer and larger Vestas 660-kilowatt turbine installed in 2000.

Both the Bonus and Vestas have had their issues over the years, particularly with rime icing in the winter.

Under the proposal, Northern Energy would double the capacity of the existing transmission line running down Haeckel Hill.

If the company can’t tie into ATCO Electric Yukon’s Fish Lake substation, it has an alternate plan to run a new transmission line over to the Kulan industrial subdivision, Tawashy said.

Locating the three turbines at the same site has less environmental impact than multiple sites and is more sound financially, he added.

Northern Energy installed a 70-metre meteorological tower at the site last October to collect wind resource data.

The company is working with the local NGC Builders owned by Doug Gilday, co-owner of New Era Hydro, the company that built and operates a micro-hydro generating plant to power the Fraser, B.C. customs station on the South Klondike Highway.

The proposal says maximum generation would occur in the winter when demand on the grid is at its highest.

It would not only offset the need for diesel and natural gas generation during peak demand, but would also allow Yukon Energy to use less water for generation and subsequently stretch out the water it has stored in its reservoirs for wintertime use.

“Additional energy from this site would substantially reduce Yukon’s dependence on fossil fuels in the winter and supplement hydro-electric production on the Yukon electrical grid year round,” says the project proposal.

The proposal points out the wind turbines would be modern, state-of-the-art technology.

They would have heated blades to eliminate the problem associated with the rime icing that greatly reduces the efficiency of Yukon Energy’s two turbines.

As is typical with wind turbines, the greatest threat to wildlife is to birds and bats, but monitoring in recent and past years has shown virtually no fatalities at the Haeckel Hill site, says the proposal.

The deadline to provide comments to the assessment board is May 2.

Shane Andre of the Yukon government’s energy branch said this morning his department has been in contact with Northern Energy to discuss a power purchase agreement.

The Independent Power Production Policy was signed off by the former Yukon Party government but not fully implemented by the time the November 2016 election rolled around, he said.

He said there is still some work to do but he expects they’ll be in a position to accommodate Northern Energy’s schedule.

“I would be surprised if we were not ready to go by then,” he said of early next year. “I mean, that is almost a year from now.”

Some of the work involves discussions with Yukon Energy and ATCO Electric Yukon regarding interconnection standards power producers will be required to meet when tying into the grid, Andre said.

He said they still need to establish a pricing mechanism that allows independent producers to move forward with their projects while protecting ratepayers.

Comments (12)

Up 2 Down 0

PowerEngineer on Apr 25, 2017 at 11:36 am

I completed my apptrentice ship 56 yrs ago, Class 2. From 2 boilers fired by waste heat from a huge industrial furnace we constantly produced enough electricity to power a city of 20,000 people. Once a year shut down for 7 to 10 days to cool down & rebrick furnace and boilers. 3 shifts per day created over 100 jobs at various hourly rates depending on expertise required, from Ash Rakers to Class 1 engineers. Good use of already used once heat to reusing heat on its way to the stack. Other sources of electricity still required as back up. Wind and wind mills could replace furnace and boilers. Replace environmental fuel surcharges. In winter we use 1,000 litres fuel oil to heat our hot water, home & rental from 1 boiler and it is still much more economical than electricity at currant rates. If we can eventually have sufficient LOW COST BTUs from electricity, I would happily switch to Electricity with my own back up Generator.

Up 18 Down 0

There is lots of wind created by the politicians on Apr 22, 2017 at 8:48 am

especially the leaders.

Up 25 Down 0

yukon56 on Apr 21, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Look to Ontario to see how much everyone is now paying for wind energy, disgusting.

Up 26 Down 0

yukon56 on Apr 21, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Another tree hugger fantasy. Do the math even on the best rate of return. We need hydro or nuclear to provide the power in the north

Up 30 Down 2

Mono rail on Apr 20, 2017 at 9:05 pm

This is the craziest idea ever. The windmills currently supply zero energy and things are great. They should tear the current junk down and make a recreation area. A couple of trucks of lng up the highway will provide twice the energy

Up 30 Down 1

Max Mack on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm

And this is called "milking the public purse."

Sadly, policy-making in the Yukon has abandoned any pretence of pragmatism and economy. This project will probably be approved with obscene guarantees to the investors that will probably result in massive rate increases.

Up 30 Down 1

north_of_60 on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Yet another green-scam that MIGHT "power 525 homes" but only when the wind is blowing. How often does anyone see the wind turbine turning in the winter when it's below -20°C and the diesel/LNG generators are running?

They claim a total generating capacity of 2.7 megawatts, however wind turbines all over the world have seldom produced even 20% of installed capacity, which means they might produce as much as 0.54 Megawatts per year.

If YE is buying wind power at 21¢/kWh while spilling water that could have generated electricity at 7¢/kWh, who pays for the extra cost, electricity users, taxpayers? Ontario's wind/solar power program has been an economic disaster that's only raised electricity prices to unaffordable levels.

If this will be totally funded by private enterprise then I won't have a problem, however this looks very much like another green-scam ultimately paid for by taxpayers and electricity users.

Up 11 Down 7

Politico on Apr 20, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Lack of wind in the Yukon, really?

Up 32 Down 3

Groucho d'North on Apr 20, 2017 at 11:59 am

I will reserve judgement until it is proven to work as intended. I remember the hype for the first two units on the hill - it tasted the same as this course.

Up 35 Down 4

windymiller on Apr 20, 2017 at 10:19 am

Ice riming on the blades is a key issue. Performance drops to zero. Lack of wind is also a serious issue. Heating elements embedded in the leading edge of the blade can help, but in providing that heat , what parasitic loss to the system?

Up 4 Down 37

Tony G. on Apr 20, 2017 at 7:39 am

Finally someone with some brains getting behind this valuable source of power. Hey, YTG how about the small business tax credit for this essential project so we can get some local investment going strong.

Up 4 Down 29

NRG on Apr 20, 2017 at 7:05 am

Now combine this Li-ion storage and you've got something.

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