Yukon Energy wants input for 20-year plan

Yukon Energy is asking Yukoners to help the company update its resource plan to meet the territory's electricity needs over the next 20 years. 'What we'll be doing is asking Yukoners to basically put themselves in our shoes.'

Energy corporation looking at supply and demand over next two decades

'Are greenhouse gas emissions important, or is it all about keeping costs as low as possible?' asks Yukon Energy president Andrew Hall. (CBC)

Yukon Energy says everything is on the table as it plans its needs over the next two decades.

The company has begun a year-long process to "chart the course" for the territory's electricity future, and it wants to hear what Yukoners want.

"What we'll be doing is asking Yukoners to basically put themselves in our shoes, and ask them what would they do and what choices would they make," said Andrew Hall, Yukon Energy's president.

"What are their priorities? Are they clean air, clean water, preservation of fish and wildlife, or preservation of wild and recreational lands? Are greenhouse gas emissions important, or is it all about keeping costs as low as possible?"

Hall said one of the first steps is figuring out how much electricity the territory will need in the coming years. It's now working to develop a "load forecast."

The previous load forecast was made in 2011, when electricity use had been steadily growing for several years. Hall said since 2012, demand has decreased, something he attributes to warmer winters and a slumping economy.

Yukoners will be able to provide input to Yukon Energy's new plan, through public meetings, surveys and an interactive website.

Hall says the company will be looking at all power options, including wind, solar and thermal energy. But he says this plan won't consider new power dams, something Yukon premier Darrell Pasloski has proposed.

"I don't really see any confusion or overlap, necessarily, between the two initiatives. They complement each other," Hall said, pointing out that it would be at least 20 years before any new dam is built.

"Our focus is keeping the lights on in the zero to 20 year timeframe," he said.

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