Whitehorse Daily Star

Proposed wind farm is with assessment board

The proposed installation of three wind turbines to offset diesel generation used to power Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay has been filed with the assessment board.

By Chuck Tobin on June 15, 2017

The proposed installation of three wind turbines to offset diesel generation used to power Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay has been filed with the assessment board.

It’s expected the wind farm will generate enough energy to offset 160,000 litres of diesel fuel annually, or 27 per cent of the fuel ATCO Electric Yukon currently burns to power the communities, according to the proposal.

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) is inviting comments from the public until June 21.

The Kluane wind project has been under development for several years by the Kluane First Nation and its Kluane Energy corporation.

Approval to test ground conditions at the site for suitability has already been granted by the Yukon government following a recommendation for approval from the assessment board.

The site is located on a hill along the western edge of Kluane Lake, approximately five kilometres from Destruction Bay.

The Yukon government has committed $1 million to assist with financing. The project is estimated at $2.4 million.

Central to the proposal is a power purchase agreement between Kluane Energy and ATCO Electric Yukon setting out how much ATCO will pay for the energy. It’s under negotiation.

The project proposal envisions a two-phase approach to construction, the first phase beginning this fall with clearing the site and making the necessary improvements to the road access.

The second phase is expected to run from April to October next year.

General manager Colin Asselstine of the Kluane Community Development Ltd. Partnership said last week they are currently working toward the schedule outlined in the proposal.

“YESAB is one of those things of course we need to move through,” he said.

Asselstine said they still have to complete the power purchase agreement with ATCO, but are hoping to have it wrapped up in the next three months.

The project, he points out, has the full support of both the Yukon and federal governments, in that it meets the growing push in northern communities to reduce dependency on diesel generation while helping Canada to meet its obligations under the Paris Accord.

Ongoing monitoring of the potential impact on bats, birds and other wildlife is part of the project proposal.

The three turbines would have a total generating capacity of 285 kilowatts.

Each turbine would stand 50 metres tall from the base to the hub.

Blades would measure 24 metres in diameter, so that the maximum blade tip height would be 62 metres above the ground.

A transmission line of about one kilometre in length would tie into the transmission line running between Destruction Bay and Burwash Landing.

ATCO’s generating plant, which supplies both communities, is located in Destruction Bay.

Another wind farm proposed for Haeckel Hill is currently before the assessment board.

The period for public comment closed last week.

The three turbines would have a generating capacity of 2.7 megawatts, or enough energy to power 525 homes.

Comments (2)

Up 6 Down 2

ProScience Greenie on Jun 16, 2017 at 2:47 pm

You joined Mining Watch north_of_60??

Solar, wind, geothermal, small-scale nuclear in D-Bay and other more distant communities = good. Windmills in Whitehorse next to a clean and reliable hydro dam = unnecessary feeding of consultants and flaky green optics.

Up 5 Down 2

north_of_60 on Jun 15, 2017 at 8:46 pm

The direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, and sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough.

But out of sight and mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and greenie politicians should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

It gets worse.

Wind turbines, apart from the fiberglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the dirty coal economy in Asia.

Three wind turbines with a capacity of 2.7 megawatts weigh in total about 340 metric tons, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a ton of coal to make a ton of steel. Add another 25 tons of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 200 metric tons of dirty polluting coal burned for these three turbines. Oh yeah, that's really 'green' isn't it? It seems that toxic pollution is OK as long as it happens in someone elses back yard.


Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.