Pumped Storage

Pumped storage uses surplus energy to pump water from a lower reservoir to a higher one. When there is need for additional electricity, the water is released back into the lower reservoir through turbines, generating power in the process. Here in Yukon, water would be stored during the summer, for use in winter when demand for electricity is high.

Process

Studies

Knight-Piesold, Picacho & Associates and Midgard were hired to complete an inventory of potential pumped storage projects in Yukon.

The assessment identified viable project sites within 25 kilometres of existing or potential transmission infrastructure. The top seven sites were chosen for further study based on construction cost. A 2015 Midgard report on the Moon Lake Pumped Storage Project was used in completing this assessment.

Technical and Financial Findings

Annual Energy Firm Energy Installed Capacity Dependable Capacity Levelized Cost of Energy Levelized Cost of Capacity Project Life In-service Lead Time
GWh/yr GWh/yr MW MW $/kWh $/kW yr Years Years

Option #1

Moon-Tutshi 1

50 50 25 25 $0.32 $650 65 7

Option #2

Moon-Tutshi 2

100 100 15 15 $0.19 $1,300 65 7

Energy

Capacity

Evaluation

Environmental Somewhat favourable
Terrestrial environment Somewhat favourable
Air quality Most favourable
First Nation lands Somewhat favourable
Traditional lifestyle Most favourable
Heritage resources Somewhat favourable
Tourism/recreation/other land uses Somewhat favourable
Cultural/community well-being Least favourable
Local economic benefits Most favourable
Climate change risk Most favourable
  •  Most favourable
  •  Somewhat favourable
  •  Least favourable

Notes

Typically pumped storage facilities provide energy storage in the order of hours or days. Yukon Energy would use this system to store water in the summer, when energy demand is lower, for use during the winter months when demand is highest.

The assessment identified sites based on a 15 MW and 25 MW capacity as well as 50 GWh and 100 GWh of storage for each.

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Initial key findings

Pros

Option for addressing need for winter energy and capacity

Cons

Very expensive energy

Fairly expensive capacity