In a recently released update, Yukon Energy said it is negotiating an Electricity Purchase Agreement with the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership (THELP) for the 8.5-MW Atlin Hydro Expansion project. Both parties aim to have an agreement in place this spring.
The proposed project would expand the infrastructure and power production capacity on Pine Creek from the current 2.1 MW. The original Atlin project, in Atlin, British Columbia, Canada, was completed in 2009. This expansion would increase the size of Yukon’s electrical system by about 8%. The additional energy generated, about 45 GWh annually, would be exported entirely to Yukon to increase the territory’s supply of renewable electricity and dependable capacity when it is needed most, in the winter.
The Atlin Hydro Expansion project will be built and owned by THELP. The project is anticipated to be complete in 2024.
Several critical milestones were reached by THELP and Yukon Energy in the past several months. In August 2020, THELP and Yukon Energy signed an Agreement in Principle outlining both parties’ commitment to work collaboratively to advance the project and negotiate the Electricity Purchase Agreement.
Since then, THELP has secured $2.5 million in federal funding to complete preliminary design and engineering. THELP and Yukon Energy continue to work collaboratively to seek additional government grant funding for construction of the project.
On Dec. 23, 2020, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) issued a clan directive outlining that, subject to successful permitting approval and TRTFN environmental review processes, TRTFN supports the Atlin Hydro Expansion project advancing to financing, construction and operation. THELP is 100% owned by TRTFN citizens.
In January 2021, THELP submitted environmental permitting applications for the planned expansion of its Atlin facilities. THELP has also submitted permitting applications to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board for the project’s transmission connection.
“TRTFN began operating its first hydro project in 2009. For over a decade, it has shut down polluting diesel generation and provided clean energy to Sunny Atlin,” said Peter Kirby, president and chief executive officer, Taku Group of Companies. “As our community moves toward clean energy, citizens in our homeland have also made personal decisions and investments to move from oil fired furnaces to utilize this clean energy to heat their homes. Our first project was a small step towards reconciling our collective history and this expansion project will be another significant step in that direction. Socially, culturally, and economically we are Yukoners and so we are honoured to be able to share our resources to provide a cleaner energy future for Yukoners and a brighter future for our citizens and all Atlinites.”