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ATCO and Copper Niisuu LP finalize Beaver Creek solar electricity purchase agreement

December 2, 2022  By Anthony Capkun



December 2, 2022 – ATCO Electric Yukon (a subsidiary of Canadian Utilities) and Copper Niisuu LP (CNLP) have finalized an electricity purchase agreement (EPA) that will help the White River First Nation (WRFN) reduce its reliance on diesel power.

“Accelerating the clean energy transition in remote Northern communities requires a bold and collaborative approach,” said Jay Massie, ATCO. “Using a foundation of trust, equity and mutual respect, our team is pioneering innovative and sustainable solutions that reduce reliance on diesel and create local economic benefits through community ownership.”

Under the agreement, CNLP will build, own and operate the Beaver Creek solar facility, designed to be the “largest penetration solar project” in the Yukon (i.e. a measure of how much power generated by current means is being replaced by solar electricity).

In this project’s case, the 1.9-MW solar facility will halve the amount of diesel needed for electricity generation in the community (a reduction of about 325,000 litres/year), and will reduce CO2 emissions by 1100 tonnes annually.

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ATCO will provide technical expertise throughout the project to ensure seamless integration to the Beaver Creek microgrid, and will manage the installation of equipment that helps connect solar equipment to ATCO’s existing systems.

Once construction is completed, CNLP will serve as an independent power producer, owning and operating the solar facility. ATCO will purchase the solar electricity generated, connect it to the grid and redistribute it back to the community.

John Vandermeer, president, White River Development Corp., says this project “highlights what is possible when a small group of dedicated people have the right support”.

“In addition to reducing noise and pollution in our community, the project will also be a source of revenue for decades and will provide employment for citizens and the community at large,” Vandermeer added.

The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2024.


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