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Too costly to hook up to northern B.C. power line: Yukon Energy

Officials with Yukon Energy Corp. are keenly watching plans in the works for a hydro power line in neighbouring northern British Columbia, but say there's little chance the territory can capitalize on it.

Officials with Yukon Energy Corp. are keenly watching plans in the works for a hydroelectricity power line in neighbouring northern British Columbia, but say there's little chance the territory can capitalize on the emerging project.

On Friday, B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell announced $10 million will go toward finalizing plans to build the Northwest Transmission Line, which will run 335 kilometres along Highway 37 from Terrace to Meziadin Junction and north to Bob Quinn Lake.

The line will link northern B.C. to the North American electricity grid — something Yukon Energy would like get to closer to, but officials say is not likely to happen.

"I think it would still be out of reach, or out of the question, to think that we could go from the Yukon down to Bob Quinn Lake," Yukon Energy spokeswoman Janet Patterson told CBC News on Friday.

"It looks like it's going to cost around $400 million, and to go from Bob Quinn Lake up to, say, Watson Lake, I am estimating would be at least $600 million."

The Northwest Transmission Line is estimated to cost $400 million but could generate as much as $15 billion in capital investments and an estimated 10,000 jobs, Campbell said, citing the Mining Association of B.C.

Patterson said the utility will closely watch the plans develop for the new power line. If those plans move the line further north, towards the Yukon, she said there is still a chance to hook the Yukon into the big power grid south of 60.

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