Ice blockage takes Yukon Energy’s 22-MW Aishihik hydro plant offline

Frazil ice blocking the trashrack at the 22-MW Aishihik hydro plant caused a power outage and took the plant offline last week, according to Canada’s CBC News.

The blockage was confirmed via use of an underwater camera. The ice prevented water from reaching the turbines, causing a reduction in generation and the resulting power outage. For now, replacement power is coming from the company’s 40-MW Whitehorse Rapids and 15-MW Mayo hydro facilities, along with diesel and LNG generation.

Yukon Energy was dispatching a crew with a steam truck to remove the ice.

Janet Patterson, Yukon Energy spokesperson said this rare event has not happened in 25 years.

Aishihik has been generating electricity from the Yukon River since 1975. It originally was built with a capacity of 15 MW, and a third, 7-MW turbine-generator unit was added in 2011. Aishihik produces about 25% of the total electricity generated by Yukon Energy annually.

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Elizabeth Ingram is content director for the Hydro Review website and HYDROVISION International. She has more than 17 years of experience with the hydroelectric power industry. Follow her on Twitter @ElizabethIngra4 .

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