Haeckel Hill was first identified by Yukon Energy as a site to develop wind energy in the early 1990’s. The site was close to Whitehorse, demonstrated a reasonable wind regime and was accessible with moderate road construction and power line upgrades. Third party wind monitoring, with support from Yukon Energy, began in 1990. In the years that followed a Bonus 150 kW wind turbine was installed (1993) and a Vestas 660 kW turbine followed (2000). As anticipated, due to the lack of blade-heating technology available at the time, both turbines struggled with rime icing in the winter months. However, under the direction of Mr. Maissan the team at Yukon Energy devised many after-market heating solutions achieving varying success at energy production during the winter months. Today, without maintenance, the Bonus stands inoperable, and the Vestas falls victim to rime icing every winter rendering it too inoperable during the highest energy-yielding months.
While there are alternative sites equally viable for wind energy production, none present an opportunity greater than Haeckel Hill to demonstrate the resilience of the Yukon spirit in our unparalleled ability to overcome the harsh challenges of our winter climates. There is a new class of wind turbine available in the market place, one that is engineered for winter conditions, and there is a renewed gust of wind under the wings of wind energy advocates. The revitalization project of Haeckel Hill creates an unprecedented opportunity to bring together First Nations, Community and Private Development in a collaborative project so grand it will become the landmark for what is possible with renewable energy development across Canada’s Northern Communities.
The Haeckel Hill project site, visible from Whitehorse, YT is the perfect opportunity for a collaborative wind energy project. Preliminary concept plans propose 3×900 kW new turbines complete with comprehensive blade heating which will yield energy production in the order of 6.2 GWh/year. These turbines will be seen to operate 365 days a year.