Yukon Energy one step closer to having largest battery storage site in the North

·2 min read
The site will be located on Kwanlin Dün First Nation Settlement Land that overlaps with the traditional territory of the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. (Yukon Energy - image credit)
The site will be located on Kwanlin Dün First Nation Settlement Land that overlaps with the traditional territory of the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council. (Yukon Energy - image credit)

Yukon Energy is one step closer to having the largest battery storage site in the North.

The utility has reached a deal to lease land for its $31-million grid-scale battery project in Whitehorse.

"It's an important milestone as we work our way through this project," said Andrew Hall, president of Yukon Energy Corporation.

The site will be located near the top of Robert Service Way and close to the Alaska Highway. It will sit on Kwanlin Dün First Nation Settlement Land that overlaps with the traditional territory of the Ta'an Kwäch'än Council.

Initially there was opposition from the public to having the site by Yukon Energy's Takhini substation on the North Klondike Highway.

Battery will help secure electricity grid

Yukon Energy says the battery storage project will add security to its grid system.

"The main benefit of a battery is to be able to help us meet peak demands, particularly during an emergency," said Hall. "If, say, [on] a really cold winter day one of our hydro units has a problem and shuts off, the advantage of the battery is, within milliseconds, it can go to full output and provide power to keep the grid stable and avoid an outage."

He said the battery project will also be used on winter days to avoid running diesel.

The battery project will benefit both the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council, said Hall.

"I think there are a number of opportunities for this project. Firstly, there is obviously the lease of the land. That will go to Kwanlin Dün for the site we selected," he said. Beyond that, he added, "There may be an opportunity for an investment associated with the battery."

Hall said there will be procurement and contract opportunities for both First Nations in the future.

In a news release, Chief Doris Bill of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation said the battery project is another step toward stabilizing Yukon's isolated grid and reducing the territory's reliance on fossil fuels for back-up power generation.

"Our development corporation Chu Niìkwän's investment in this project will lead to increased opportunities for Kwanlin Dün First Nation citizens and improve access to clean, stable electricity for all Yukoners."

The federal government is contributing $16.5 million and Yukon Energy's investment will be $14.5 million when the battery site is completed in the fall of 2022.