Tag Archives: Solar IPP

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

Dome Road Solar Power Project under Construction

Dome Road Solar IPP (Independent Power Plant) came about in partnership with the City of Dawson who will be leasing us a former municipal landfill site for the purposes of generating solar energy. We’re so pleased to be putting an otherwise unusable lot to work for our community. The 199kW AC power plant will connect into the Yukon power grid, through an Energy Purchase Agreement with another great partner, Yukon Energy. Generation capacity: 280 MWH/year.

The project aims to offset our community’s carbon footprint through production of renewable energy. While Dawson like much of the Yukon benefits from hydro electricity, we also rely on a diesel generation plant to provide power in times of high demand or in times of power outage. We hope that moving towards solar power produced in our local area will mean less need for the diesel generator sets to turn on, and increase our self-sufficiency over time.

The site identified is a former garbage dump and land treatment facility, but soils testing in summer 2020 indicated the site is suitable to allow an installation such as ours. Using this municipal brownfield offers a perfect opportunity to repurpose the site for solar power generation without having to clear forest or other wild habitat.

Thank you to local & Yukon contractors Grenon Enterprises (taming the giant dirt mountains & making the site usable), Graf Enviro Services (clearing power lines), Yukon Energy (new power poles, lines, transformers, & flexible project partners), Backcountry Construction (fencing), Solvest (project design/engineering/construction)! Special appreciation to Yukon CIBC for gap financing. We’re getting there…

We gratefully acknowledge the funding contributions of Government of Canada https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca
Arctic Energy Fund
Northern REACHE program
Government of Yukon: https://yukon.ca/en/innovative-renewable-energy-initiative
& City of Dawson

Video Photo credits: KDO and Solvest
Video Music Credit: ‘Summer’ by Julian Avila

Request for Expressions of Interest to find a Solar Energy Engineering and Installation Partner

Earlier this year, Klondike Development Organization completed early stage financial feasibility work for an IPP solar power generation project in Dawson City, and we are now ready to proceed through the next steps towards making the project happen.  KDO is looking to initiate a small pilot project of 250 KW (0.25 MW) during the summer of 2020.

KDO seeks an experienced solar industry partner to assist us in satisfying Yukon Energy’s IPP pre-application process eligibility requirements and completing initial technical feasibility work that will then enable us to complete site selection, a full application to the utility and access financing. This may include photovoltaic array design, grid interconnection planning, and if successful, product sourcing and project installation. 

Full Request for Expressions of Interest here: