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.