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Yukon Energy to burn more LNG and diesel to meet winter demand

The power corporation says the low water level in Aishihik Lake means less hydroelectricity is generated at dam there. The company will add temporary diesel plants in Whitehorse for backup.

Power corporation says low water level in Aishihik Lake means less hydroelectric generation at dam there

The Whitehorse LNG plant is used as a backup, when the hydroelectric dams cannot supply enough power. (Philippe Morin)

Yukon Energy says it expects to burn more diesel and liquefied natural gas (LNG) this winter to meet demand for electricity.

Company president Andrew Hall said low water levels in Aishihik Lake means there will be less hydroelectric generation at the dam there. The corporation also operates hydroelectric plants in Whitehorse and near Mayo, Yukon.

Hall said the Crown corporation is also leasing six portable diesel generators for the winter to be on hand for peak cold periods and in case of an emergency.

"The purpose of that is to really provide us with an insurance that we need against a worst case event where we lose one of our large hydro facilities," said Hall.

Yukon Energy president Andrew Hall says the corporation is leasing portable diesel generators this winter to handle peak cold periods and in case of an emergency. (CBC)

"We know that if we were to lose our Aishihik facility, which is our largest single unit, and that happened on the coldest day of the year that we would be facing a deficit," he said.

The corporation says it is also adding a third permanent LNG generator this fall to the two it already owns. They will run all winter to fill the gap created by the low water in Aishihik Lake.

In a release, Yukon Energy says it would have preferred to rent portable LNG generators instead of diesel, but none were available.

Hall said power bills will not go up due to increased use of fossil fuels.

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