Generating clean energy for the economy, the environment | Whuff News

A First Nation-led clean energy project in Northwest British Columbia will provide significant economic growth and good jobs for people in the area, as well as continued revenue from clean energy sold in the Yukon.

“This clean energy project has the potential to succeed: creating jobs, income for communities and clean air for everyone in the Northwest,” said Premier John Horgan. “That’s why our government is proud to work in partnership with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation and other levels of government to make this promising project a reality.” Together, we can build a stronger, cleaner future by generating cleaner electricity to replace fossil fuels – just like they did here in Atlin.”

The Province is investing $20 million in a hydroelectricity and transmission project being developed by the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) to replace diesel power generation in Yukon, which is supported by the Government of Yukon and the Government of Canada.

“Renewable energy projects help remote communities to reduce the use of diesel in the production of electricity, which reduces air pollution, improves environmental effects and creates local jobs,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “This project will advance reconciliation with the TRTFN, promote economic development in Atlin and support the government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

TRTFN is based in Atlin and regionally in BC, Yukon, and Alaska. TRTFN is actively involved in clean energy development and, since 2009, has successfully replaced diesel-generated electricity in Atlin with a 2.1-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric plant.

TRTFN is the owner of the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership (THELP), which promotes economic development through clean energy. THELP plans to expand its hydro portfolio by building the Atlin Hydro and Transmission Project and selling electricity to the Yukon through a new transmission line.

The Yukon Government requires the Yukon Energy Corporation (YEC) to generate 97% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. YEC’s leased diesel generators are expensive to operate and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in the region.

The new transmission line between Atlin and the Yukon grid will include fiber-optic data cable to support utility operations, and surplus capacity that can be used to bring high-speed internet connections to Atlin residents for the first time.

He quotes:

George Heyman, Minister for Environment and Climate Change Strategy –

“Opportunities like this Taku River Tlingit First Nation-led hydroelectric project are a great example of identifying and supporting First Nations-led clean electricity opportunities that will support sustainable communities and provide clean economic opportunities for the region for years to come. We all have a responsibility to invest in projects that benefit our climate goals while advancing economic reconciliation.”

Sandy Silver, Yukon Premier –

“Thank you to the Government of British Columbia for investing in this important project, which will further strengthen the connection between the Yukon and Atlin. This ambitious initiative will increase renewable energy in the North in partnership with the Taku River Tlingit First Nation while reducing emissions in the Yukon and ensuring that energy remains accessible to Yukoners.

John Streicker, Minister responsible for the Yukon Development Corporation –

“The Atlin Hydro project represents an important step towards meeting Yukon’s growing electricity needs and the renewable energy targets of our Clean Future Strategy. Our government is proud to contribute to the development of this project and we thank the Government of British Columbia and all partners for their contribution and commitment to renewable energy initiatives. This project shows what can be done when communities, First Nations and federal, provincial and territorial governments come together to plan for a green economy and future. ”

Charmaine Thom, spokesperson for the Taku River Tlingit First Nation-

“Atlin has enjoyed clean and renewable energy since 2009 thanks to our electricity project. Over its lifetime, the Atlin hydropower facility will prevent more than one million tons of greenhouse gases from being created to power the southern Yukon. We look forward to continuing this project. Our collective dream is to meet our environmental and economic goals for the region and our local community over the next 10 years. We are very grateful to all our partners involved for their financial support, as we move forward in creating a more dynamic and sustainable North.”

Fast Facts:

  • The 8.5-MW project is expected to provide an average of 35 gigawatt hours of power annually to the Yukon. To achieve this, TRTFN plans to increase the existing capacity to store water in Surprise Lake, add new infrastructure, and send power 92 km north to Jakes Corner, Yukon, with a new 69-kilovolt transmission line.
  • The project is expected to cost $253 – 308.5 million, a high number that reflects the recent projected impacts of inflation and rising supply costs.
  • The project is expected to have a positive impact on local and provincial economic development through:
    • 176 permanent positions during construction;
    • six to eight full-time positions in operations and maintenance over 40 years; and
    • increased business for BC contractors.
  • Regional donors and federal donors have committed to 151.1 million dollars to support the project, recently 32.2 million dollars committed in the 2022 federal budget.

Learn more:

For more information about the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, visit:

For information about Atlin, visit:

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