Established in 1987, Yukon Energy is a publicly-owned electrical utility that operates as a business, at arms length from the Yukon government. We are the main generator and transmitter of electrical energy in the Yukon and we work with our parent company Yukon Development Corporation to provide Yukoners with a sufficient supply of safe, reliable electricity and related energy services. There are almost 15,000 electricity consumers in the territory. Yukon Energy directly serves about 1,700 of these customers, most of whom live in and around Dawson City, Mayo and Faro. Indirectly, we provide power to many other Yukon communities (including Whitehorse, Carcross, Carmacks, Haines Junction, Ross River and Teslin) through the Yukon Electrical Company Limited. Yukon Electric buys wholesale power from Yukon Energy and sells it to retail customers in the territory.
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- Business Type:
- Service provider
- Industry Type:
- Renewable Energy
- Market Focus:
- Nationally (across the country)
- Year Founded:
This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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Yukon Energy has the capacity to generate approximately 132 megawatts of power. Ninety two megawatts of that are provided by our hydro facilities in Whitehorse, Mayo and Aishihik Lake (40 megawatts at Whitehorse, 37 megawatts at Aishihik and 15 megawatts at Mayo), 39 megawatts by diesel generators (which we currently only use as back-up) and 0.8 megawatts by two wind turbines located on Haeckel Hill near Whitehorse.
Yukon Energy is regulated by the Business Corporations Act, the Public Utilities Act and the Yukon Water Act. Our headquarters are located near the Whitehorse Rapids hydro plant in Whitehorse, with community offices in Mayo, Faro and Dawson City.
Guiding Principles and Values
- make safety a priority in all that we do
- recognize and encourage integrity, learning, growth and development
- foster an attitude of teamwork
- operate with respect for one another
- be responsive and accountable to our customers and shareholders
- act sustainably at all times (social, environmental and economic bottom line)
- be innovative when seeing energy solutions
- take a proactive approach in meeting electricity needs
- develop partnerships in working to meet electricity needs
- optimize the use of our existing assets for the benefit of ratepayers
Until the late 1980s, most of the electrical generation facilities in the North were owned by the federal government's Northern Canada Power Commission (NCPC). The first of its Yukon facilities, a five megawatt hydro plant in Mayo in the central Yukon, was built in 1951. It was originally developed to supply electricity to the United Keno Hill Mine at Elsa, located about 45 kilometres north of Mayo. It now supplies electricity to the communities of Mayo, Dawson City, Keno City and neighbouring areas.
Next came the Whitehorse Rapids hydro facility, built in 1958 to meet a growing demand in the capital city. It began with two hydro turbines. A third turbine was added in 1969 and a fourth one was installed in 1985. To learn more about the history of the Whitehorse facility, see the document located at the bottom of this page.
The final of NCPC's Yukon installations is the Aishihik plant, located about 110 kilometres northwest of Whitehorse. This hydro station was built in 1975 to serve a large lead-zinc mine at Faro in the central Yukon, and to address the growing electrical needs of Whitehorse.
In 1987, all of the Northern Canada Power Commission's assets in Yukon were devolved to the Yukon government. The territorial government formed Yukon Energy Corporation to take over these assets. Yukon Energy, in turn, gave the Yukon Electrical Company Limited the license to manage and operate the generating facilities.
In 1997, Yukon Energy decided not to renew its contract with the Yukon Electrical Company but instead opted to operate and manage its own assets. It was a challenging task; within a few short months, we had to hire a number of new employees (some moved over to Yukon Energy from Yukon Electrical) and take on the many functions needed to run the company. That same year, the Anvil Range mine in Faro - the territory’s largest energy consumer - shut down in June and re-opened in October, only to close for good in January 1998.
It was in this climate that Yukon Energy was faced with a major setback. Early in the morning of October 30, 1997, a disastrous fire started that knocked out three of the four Whitehorse hydroelectric turbines and our entire office complex, including the centre that allows operators to control and monitor, by computer, the 23 hydro and diesel generators in Yukon.
Incredibly, thanks to the quick thinking and competency of Yukon Energy employees, there was no loss of power to homes or business, and less than 18 hours after the fire started, the phones and computers were back up. A make-shift control centre was set up in a bathroom in the diesel plant (the only room with a window that viewed the dam; that view being necessary to manage water levels)!
Temporary offices were found for the 30 to 40 other employees who'd lost their workspace. In November 1998, a new plant was officially opened with a celebration highlighting the accomplishments of the many employees who'd worked hard to make it possible. A year later, our technical services and corporate office building was completed, and won a national design award for energy efficiency, capping our phoenix-like recovery.