Article written by Amanda Dell'Aquila for Northern Energy Capital
Published July 6, 2022
Michael Muller (left) of Chu Níikwän Limited Partnership and Malek Tawashy (right) of Northern Energy Capital pose in front of the partner’s sign.
PHOTO: PHOTO PROVIDED - NORTHERN ENERGY CAPITAL
The city of Whitehorse was eager to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels to produce winter electricity, and in 2015 the community, along with the guidance of Northern Energy Capital (NEC), explored potential sites for a wind project in southern Yukon.
The weather experienced in Haeckel Hill was and is quintessentially rugged and unforgiving at times, with lows of -27°C and receiving up to 15 cm of snow per day in the winter.
However this is where NEC shines, "we're about empowering Canada’s northern and remote communities," notes Malek Tawashy, president and CEO of NEC.
The company's mandate is to provide communities in northern Canada a way to transition from fossil fuel consumption to clean energy asset-ownership. “Our projects provide powerful and long-term economic, social, and environmental returns to the communities we serve,” continues Malek.
In 2016, a collaboration agreement was reached with Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) to conduct wind monitoring at a previously developed site that was not currently in use, also known as a brownfield site.
From there, the Haeckel Hill Wind Project progressed with permitting for the first grid-connected independent wind energy project in the Territories, which led to partnerships with Kwanlin Dün First Nation, and in 2020 securing all funding for the $27 million project.
With an investment of 8 years of work, the Haeckel Hill Wind Project is set to begin providing the City of Whitehorse with clean energy as early as fall 2023 with the arrival of the wind turbines from the Netherlands.
"I’m clear this project is a match for the resilient and persevering spirit of Yukoner’s," remarks Malek. Since the inception of the project, Malek, along with his team at NEC and other partners such as Kwanlin Dün First Nation's development corporation Chu Níikwän Limited Partnership, have worked to carve out Haeckel Hill's renewable energy legacy.
"This project will forever shift the trajectory towards a renewable energy future, a commitment held strongly by the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, and many more northern communities too," adds Malek.
The four Haeckel Hill wind turbines are expected to be ready to go live as early as fall 2023.
PHOTO: PHOTO PROVIDED - GBP CREATIVE