Yukon Weekly

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Yukon Energy eliminates North Klondike Highway location from options for new battery site

Yukon Energy announced Dec. 15 it will not place the battery storage project it is planning beside its Takhini substation on the North Klondike Highway.

The project would see the land used for container units of lithium-ion batteries used to store electricity generated during off-peak periods that can then be used during periods of higher demand. It will be the first such project in the Yukon and it’s anticipated that over the 20-year life of the battery, carbon emissions in the territory will be reduced by more than 20,000 tonnes.

The North Klondike Highway site is one of three that Yukon Energy identified for the project with the other two still being considered near Yukon Energy’s site in Whitehorse on Robert Service Way.

One of those sites is across from Yukon Energy’s LNG facility on Robert Service Way while the other is at the northeast corner of the Alaska Highway and Robert Service Way.

In its announcement, Yukon Energy stated it eliminated the North Klondike Highway site as an option after close to 60 per cent of the public comments submitted on the proposed project stated their opposition to the North Klondike Highway location. Many argued a residential area wasn’t suitable for the project, highlighting increased fire risks as well as the potential for increased noise and light from the site.

All the sites are First Nation settlement land in the traditional territories of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwäch’än Council.

A project steering committee made up of representatives from the First Nations and Yukon Energy was established earlier this year to evaluate the options. While the North Klondike Highway site has been eliminated from the list of possibilities, the final site for the battery between the two locations around Robert Service Way is expected to be announced after lease terms are finalized.

Along with stating it has eliminated the North Klondike Highway area as a site option, Yukon Energy also announced it has issued the first part of a two-stage procurement process for a battery vendor through a request for proposals that closes Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. The RFP is available at yukonenergy.ca and merx.com.

In the first stage, vendors are asked to show their technical capability, experience and corporate capacity to deliver a battery that meets Yukon Energy’s requirements and that’s suitable for the northern environment.

Vendors that qualify in the first stage will then be invited to submit proposals for the second stage. That evaluation will look at technical specification, price, and First Nations benefits among other criteria.

“It feels great to reach this critical milestone,” said Andrew Hall, president and CEO of Yukon Energy. “We knew when we started this project that the most difficult and time-consuming part of it would be sourcing the right kind of battery for our unique needs and climate. Issuing this RFP now sets us up to have the battery installed and in service by the end of 2022 like we always planned.”

A total of $16.5 million in federal funding has been approved through the Investing in Canada green infrastructure stream with Yukon Energy set to put between $10 million and $13.5 million into the project.

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