Dawson City Solar Project Connects to the Yukon electrical grid

Dawson City, Yukon (March 10, 2022) – Klondike Development Organization (KDO) is thrilled to announce that the Dome Road Solar Independent Power (IPP) project is now operational and converting springtime sunshine to electricity.

At 199 kW AC the new solar power project will generate 280 MWh of energy each year, about enough power to satisfy the year-round total electricity needs of roughly 25 Yukon homes. Small by comparison to most IPPs, the size was both a good fit for our non-profit organization’s capacity and for the chosen site at a former municipal landfill. Through a low-cost lease agreement with the City of Dawson, this otherwise unusable brownfield now features a solar electricity generating system that is helping to offset our community’s carbon footprint.

While most of Yukon’s power needs are supplied by hydroelectricity, shoulder and winter seasons in Dawson City can still require the use of generators to meet power demands. During that period (September through May) our small independent power production translates into greenhouse gas offsets of between 91 and 122 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

In addition to the environmental benefits of the project, KDO’s social enterprise model will result in an economic development legacy for our community. While the first 10 years of operating this infrastructure will be done on a lean cost-recovery basis, the IPP forecasts profits over the long term. As a non-profit organization, any revenues the Klondike Development Organization earns will always be re-invested in local activities such as renewable energy, affordable housing, community research and other projects.  

Building a solar power project required the partnership and support of multiple parties and governments through both the feasibility/development and construction phases. With sincere gratitude, we acknowledge: Government of Canada (Arctic Energy Fund $486,000, Northern REACHE $105,000 over 2 years), Government of Yukon (Innovative Renewable Energy Initiative $83,200, construction, Regional Economic Development Fund $8,500 planning), City of Dawson ($10,000).  KDO sourced commercial financing (CIBC) for the balance of construction costs. KDO would like to thank Yukon Energy Corporation for patiently working through what is still a new process with us, and our design and construction contractors, Solvest Inc. for their expertise and dedication in bringing this project to completion. 

This renewable energy project falls under the scope of the Government of Yukon’s Independent Power Production policy.

“Our Government is committed to reaching net-zero by 2050 and the Dome Road solar array will help our country meet its ambitious emissions reduction targets. The solar array is now operational and capable of producing up to 280 MWh annually, providing a clean-energy alternative for Dawson City residents and helping them reduce their reliance on diesel.”
Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities 

“Communities in Yukon are leading the way with locally-led, innovative clean energy solutions that work for them. Our Government will continue to be a strong partner as we work together to lower greenhouse gas emissions on the path to Net-Zero by 2050. I want to congratulate the Klondike Development Organization and Dawson City on the launch of its new Dome Road Solar Power Project. By harnessing solar energy in the land of the midnight sun, the project will provide economic benefits for the community and clean energy to Yukoners.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P. 
Minister of Northern Affairs

“The Dome Road Solar Independent Power project is helping the Yukon transition to renewable energy sources while ensuring energy rates remain low for Yukoners.  Congratulations to the Klondike Development Organization on the commissioning of their new solar energy generating system. We are pleased to see this third independent power production project come online this year, that will help the Yukon meet its climate goals under Our Clean Future.  Our government will continue to support  forward-looking projects like this that contribute to the Yukon’s transition towards a clean energy future.”
Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker

“The completion of this project is exciting news for the future of The Klondike for many reasons. Renewable energy sources help our territory combat climate change while meeting the objectives outlined in Our Clean Future, greater access to electricity will also help Dawson City grow in a sustainable way. Engineers in the Yukon have been creating innovative solutions to increase the quality of life in our territory since the Yukon Ditch was constructed at the turn of the 20th century and I am glad that we can continue to undertake new energy projects for the benefit of all Yukoners.”
Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai

“We’ve heard time and time again that Yukoners want more sources of clean electricity. Buying renewable electricity from Klondike Development Organization’s solar generating station – and others like it – helps us do just that, particularly during the shoulder seasons. Congratulations KDO on all that you’ve achieved.”
Yukon Energy Corporation President and CEO Andrew Hall

“I’m extremely pleased that the solar power project is now complete and generating energy into the power grid!  KDO’s board of directors are forward thinking community members who look for sustainability for Dawson.  We’ve seen our partnerships result in several successful initiatives, and KDO looks forward to future projects that will make a positive difference for Dawson City.”
Klondike Development Organization President Jackie Olson

“The KDO Dome Road Solar Independent Power project has combined solar photovoltaics with a municipally-owned former municipal landfill site to deliver renewable energy to the Yukon electrical grid. The City of Dawson hopes the success of this project will help motivate residents, businesses, organizations and governments to initiate more renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in our territory, which will help speed our society’s transition to a renewable, low-carbon energy future.”
William Kendrick, Mayor of Dawson City

Full PDF version of press release

Representatives from KDO, Solvest Inc. and Yukon Energy photographed in front of the power distribution box that connects the solar array to the electrical grid. (L to R: KDO’s Colm Cairns, Brian Stethem, Jackie Olson, Stephanie Pawluk, Evelyn Pollock, Solvest’s Cameron Ouellette, Yukon Energy/Spark Power’s Leo Poile).
Ready for a sunny day!
Sunshine peeking over the horizon during construction in November 2021.

This project funded in part by the Government of Canada. www.infrastructure.gc.ca