Today the Government of Yukon announced a $500,000 investment for the installation of a 940-kilowatt solar array in Old Crow. The partnership between the Government of Yukon, Vuntut Gwitchin Government and Yukon Development Corporation will help develop Old Crow’s sustainable energy future and reduce the community’s dependence on diesel fuel.
This community-driven, grassroots project will provide employment opportunities for residents and offers long-term revenue potential, with ATCO Electric committing to a multi-year purchase of renewable energy generated by the array.
It is estimated that the energy generated by the solar array will save up to 189,000 litres of diesel fuel annually, with additional savings through the reduction in aviation fuel required to transport diesel to the community by air. The funding is being provided through the Government of Yukon’s Innovative Renewable Energy Initiative, administered by the Yukon Development Corporation.
Additionally, the Yukon Development Corporation and the Governments of Yukon and Canada have contributed approximately $45,000 towards a streetlight conversion project in Old Crow where high-pressure sodium lights were replaced with shielded LED bulbs. The LEDs use 50 per cent less energy than regular bulbs, and the streetlight conversion project will save approximately 4,600 litres of diesel fuel annually.
Our government is committed to implementing policies and initiatives that increase the availability of renewable energy solutions to meet future needs while protecting the environment. With these projects, Old Crow will benefit from long-term cost savings on energy generation, be less dependent on diesel fuel imports and lower its greenhouse gas emissions. They are great examples of how we can work together with First Nations and communities to find sustainable solutions to the rising demand and cost of energy generation in Yukon.
Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation Ranj Pillai
The Vuntut Gwitchin Government acknowledges the significant financial contribution of the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada. This project is the vision of our young leaders to improve the quality of life in Old Crow, reduce environmental liabilities and generate stable, own-source revenue for the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation. Community-owned clean energy projects strengthen our resiliency and sustainability and build a better future for our children.
Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief Bruce Charlie
The Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation has been working on this project with ATCO Electric, the Energy Solutions Centre and the Yukon Development Corporation.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has contributed over $2.6 million in funding in support of this project.
The solar array will be installed on the north side of the Old Crow airport runway and link to the community’s power grid.
Five residents will be employed during construction and commissioning, with a further employment opportunity for one individual for ongoing maintenance and operations.