Yukon begins work on new hydroelectric plan
12 to 16 month process to identify where new hydro dams could be built
The Yukon Government has begun a 12 to 16 month process to identify where one, or two, new hydro dams could be built.
This year's budget includes $2 million for planning. Premier Darrel Pasloski has also given officials instructions to begin sorting out details.
He says he's also mindful about consulting closely with Yukoners to ensure widespread support for the project.
"We need to engage Yukoners," he said. "We need to engage with First Nations. We need to clearly hear what people's ideas and thoughts are."
The work plan due next year is expected to identify how much additional power will be needed in the coming decades and how it would be paid for. It will look at potential positives and negatives including environmental effects.
Pasloski says it will also look for benefits that could be passed onto First Nations and it will scout out potential locations for one or two dams.
Opposition politicians in Yukon say they're not impressed with the plan so far.
New Democrat MLA Jim Tredger says he hopes all forms of renewable energy are considered, "like solar, wind and geothermal, which are deliverable, they're scalable and they're available right now."
Liberal leader Sandy Silver says he supports increasing the supply of renewable energy but he's disappointed in the work plan.
"We've waited six months for this report and it didn't really provide any new information or clues on how the government plans to proceed," he said. "It's basically regurgitating existing information in a new report."
Silver says this process should have began four or five years ago. He says he thinks it was derailed by government plans at the time to privatize Yukon Energy.