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Hydro electricity generation uses the force of falling or fast-moving water to produce power. Small-scale hydro in Yukon would either be a traditional plant with a dam and reservoir to store water, or a run-of-river plant. Run-of-river operations use the natural flow of a river, with little – if any – storage reservoir.
The consulting firm Knight Piesold did an assessment of potential small hydro sites in Yukon and northern B.C.
They reviewed reports prepared by Yukon Energy, ATCO Electric Yukon, Yukon Development Corporation, and others over the last 50 years. The company started by looking at 49 potential sites, screened for sites in restricted areas such as parks, proximity to existing or proposed transmission lines, hydrology of the sites, potential energy output, and cost benefit analysis.
Based on this work, five sites were chosen for more detailed review. Sites include:
|Annual Energy||Firm Energy||Installed Capacity||Dependable Capacity||Levelized Cost of Energy||Levelized Cost of Capacity||Project Life||In-service Lead Time|
Tutshi Lake –
|Aquatic environment||Somewhat favourable|
|Terrestrial environment||Somewhat favourable|
|Air quality||Most favourable|
|First Nation lands||Somewhat favourable|
|Traditional lifestyle||Most favourable|
|Heritage resources||Most favourable|
|Tourism/recreation/other land uses||Somewhat favourable|
|Cultural/community well-being||Somewhat favourable|
|Local economic benefits||Most favourable|
|Climate change risk||Most favourable|
The Wolf River and Anvil Creek projects will be run-of-river facilities and the other four would have storage.
Tutshi Lake-Windy Arm could have potential synergies with the downstream Whitehorse Generating Station and potential pumped storage hydro sites between Moon Lake and Tutshi Lake, which could result in additional winter generation.
Generation relatively affordable
Greater chance of obtaining social licence than with large hydro
Provides winter energy
Lead time for construction relatively long