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Yukon unveils long-term plan for hydroelectric power development

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The Yukon government has released a planning directive that calls for the comprehensive investigation of new large-scale hydroelectric power projects in the northwestern territory.

Called "Next Generation Hydro for Yukon", the report was prepared in conjunction with the Yukon Development Corporation (YDC) and hopes to create a long-term plan for Yukon's power supply.

"This work plan is a blueprint for identifying and investigating potential new hydroelectric power sites," said Scott Kent, Yukon's minister responsible for the YDC.

The plan is a product of subsection 6(1) of the Yukon Development Corporation Act, which in November 2013 directed YDC to plan one or more hydropower projects to meet Yukon's expected growth in demand.

According to the report, more than 95% of Yukon's energy is currently produced by hydroelectric sources. However, the supply is approaching capacity, and the territory lacks transmission lines to import power. Yukon's projected 10% growth in population through 2019 further accentuates its need for additional capacity.

"We're eager to get to work on this vital project, which will help bring long-term benefits to Yukon," Kent said.

The first phase of the plan will begin this month and conclude next May, with actions including: hiring a project coordinator and creating a technical advisory committee; commissioning technical work; identifying potential partnerships; and identifying options for location and financing.

"With this milestone, we have taken the first step in moving forward in Next Generation Hydro for Yukon," YDC chair Joanne Fairlie said. "This is the beginning of important and groundbreaking work to come."

Yukon's current hydroelectric power is generated by four plants, including the 40-MW Whitehorse, 37-MW Aishihik, 15-MW Mayo and 1.3-MW Fish Lake.

For more news from Canada, visit here.

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