Yukon First Nations invest in green energy for their future

Excerpt from the article written by Vincent Bonnay for CBC

Published May 5, 2022


The four Haeckel Hill wind turbines are expected to be ready to go live as early as fall 2023.

The four Haeckel Hill wind turbines are expected to be ready to go live as early as fall 2023.

PHOTO: PHOTO PROVIDED - GBP CREATIVE


Kwanlin Dün First Nation has signed an agreement to develop a new wind energy project, the latest in a series of Yukon First Nation green energy initiatives.


The agreement includes a $13 million investment from the federal government, in addition to funding from Kwanlin Dün First Nation and the Yukon Development Corporation.


This investment aims to build four wind turbines on Haeckel Hill. According to the developers' estimates, It is projected this project will produce enough electricity to power up to 650 homes a year for 20 years, the clean-energy equivalent of burning 40 milion litres of fuel.


The main objective of this project is to be able to produce electricity from the fall of 2023, in order, in particular, to ensure a supply during the winter, at a time when hydroelectricity is not enough to meet the growing energy needs of the Yukon capital.


Wind turbines designed for the North


They are polar wind turbines. They are higher, with blades 30% longer, from 23 to 30 meters. So they have 70% more surface area to better capture the energy of the wind, says Michael Muller, from the investment firm Chu Níikwän. This design means that the turbines will rotate despite a weaker wind.


To be effective when Yukon needs energy the most, these wind turbines have been designed to cope with the harsh climate, according to Michael Muller.


Unlike wind turbines of the past, these have a heating system inside the blades that prevents the formation of ice or melts it, he explains.


It's going to be a game changer, he says. Where, with the old wind turbines, it would have taken days for the ice to melt naturally from their blades, we estimate that they will only need a few hours.


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