Written by Sara Conners for APTN National News
Published October 6, 2023
The Haeckel Hill Wind Energy farm will generate enough clean energy to power 650 homes per year.
The Kwanlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse will soon be offsetting Yukon’s carbon emissions thanks to a new green energy project.
The Haeckel Hill Wind Energy farm is a four-megawatt wind turbine project located just northwest of Whitehorse.
The turbines were developed by Eagle Hill Energy LP, a subsidiary under Chu Níikwän, Kwanlin Dün’s development corporation, making it the first 100 per cent Indigenous owned clean energy project in northern Canada.
“Today, Kwanlin Dün’s corporation Chu Níikwän has developed this project, meaning good clean renewable energy is being produced on Thay T’äw, in the heart of our Traditional Territory for our community. It makes me proud to support this project that will provide for years to come,” said Chief Sean Smith.
The total cost of the project totalled $29.8 million. Funding was provided from the federal government, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program and Eagle Hill.
The four-turbine project replaces two now-decommissioned turbines previously owned by Yukon Energy, increasing its power output from 600 to 1,000 kilowatts.
The turbines are expected to produce enough clean energy to remove the equivalent of more than 40 million liters of diesel fuel, offsetting up to 115,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the territory.
Les Wilson, Chu Níikwän’s director of development, said the project will power up to 650 Yukon homes per year over the next 20 years.
“Our vision for this project was simple,” he said. “Reduce our community’s reliance on imported fossil fuels using the power of the wind.”
New and improved design
The turbines were specially designed for Yukon’s cold weather climate and will operate during the winter months when wind energy is more abundant and consistent.
That includes de-icing technology like black heated blades to help with de-icing in the winter.
With a maximum height of 46 meters, the new turbines are also taller than the originals in order to access stronger airflow and their blades are bigger to allow for greater wind energy capture.
Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief and Council stands amid the Haeckel Hill Wind Project along with Chu Níikwän CEO Rick O'Brien (second from right) and Eagle Hill Energy LP Director Malek Tawashy (far right). PHOTO: Northern Energy Capital
During the event, much importance was also placed on the name Eagle Hill Energy. The subsidiary’s name stems from Thay T’äw, the Southern Tutchone name for Haeckel Hill, meaning Golden Eagle Nest.
A Kwanlin Dün traditional story states a giant eagle once nested on top of the mountain.
Rick O’Brien, a former Kwanlin Dün chief and Chu Níikwän’s CEO, said he considers the project to be reconciliation in action.
“I have my own vision of reconciliation, (it’s) to be part of the environment, part of the economic development opportunities in Yukon, to be visual and also see our logos out there, just to be part of the community and be involved financially,” he said. “It also means empowering our people.”
The turbines are expected to be operational later this month.
Click here for the APTN National News article
About Eagle Hill Energy LP (EHELP)
Eagle Hill Energy LP is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chu Níikwän Limited Partnership (CNLP), the development corporation of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation. CNLP works to grow the equity and resources of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation by investing in strategic opportunities to generate wealth for the future benefit of all citizens.
The name Eagle Hill Energy is a reference to the traditional Kwanlin Dün place name for the hill known today as Haeckel Hill. As told by KDFN Elder Louie Smith, the mountain was traditionally known as Thay T’äw, or “Golden Eagle Nest,” in Southern Tutchone, named for the giant golden eagle that made its nest on the summit.
About Northern Energy Capital (NEC)
Northern Energy Capital is a renewable energy development company, established in 2015, dedicated to empowering northern and remote communities in their transition from fossil fuel consumption to clean energy asset ownership. NEC is the development partner of choice for off-grid and remote communities that seek to achieve energy independence through locally owned and locally produced renewable energy.
Are you interested in working with Northern Energy Capital on your next renewable energy project? We would love to hear from you! Contact us at email@example.com or 250-213-8185 to learn more about how we can help you achieve your energy goals.