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ATCO and Copper Niisüü initiate a new electricity agreement to underpin the Saa Sè Energy project in Beaver Creek and enhance energy autonomy for White River First Nation

Press Release

CALGARY, AB, Dec. 1, 2022 – ATCO Electric Yukon (ATCO), a subsidiary of Canadian Utilities, and Copper Niisüü Limited Partnership (CNLP), have finalized a landmark Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) that will help the White River First Nation (WRFN) reduce their reliance on diesel power, achieve greater energy autonomy, and generate economic benefits for the next 30 years.

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 Territory – a measure of how much power generated by current means is being replaced by solar electricity. In this project’s case, solar power will replace more than 55% of the diesel generation in the community. The 1.9-megawatt (MW) facility will cut in half the amount of diesel needed for electricity generation in the community, a reduction of approximately 325,000 litres/year, and will reduce CO2 emissions by 1,100 tonnes annually.

ATCO will provide technical expertise throughout the duration of 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 the 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. The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2024.

“We are excited about this project. It shows how a small First Nation community can overcome challenges to lead the way. 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. It highlights what is possible when a small group of dedicated people have the right support.  First Nations have always been and will be stewards of the environment, this work builds on the foundation of strength and self-sufficiency of our ancestors.
We thank ATCO, the territorial and federal governments for believing in the White River Team and supporting this project.”
–          John Vandermeer, President, WRDC

“Accelerating the clean energy transition in remote Northern communities requires a bold and collaborative approach. 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.”
–          Jay Massie, Vice President, Northern Development & Indigenous Relations, ATCO

Quick Facts

Once fully operational, the Beaver Creek Solar Project will:

  • Generate more than 1,000 MWh/year of solar electricity
  • Reduce diesel consumption for electricity generation by about 325,000 litres/year (55 per cent of current volumes)
  • Reduce 1,100 tonnes of CO2e annually
  • Enable the diesel plant to be turned off about 60% of the time, more than 5,200 hours per year
  • Consist of 1.9 megawatts (MW) DC of solar panels (more than 4000 panels), and 1.2 MW AC of inverters, and 3.5 MWh of battery energy storage

About Copper Niisüü Limited Partnership
CNLP is the business operations entity of the White River Development Corporation (WRDC). CNLP sources, develops and manages business activities and partnerships that provide growth opportunities for the WRDC. CNLP, on behalf of WRDC establishes joint venture partnerships and other entrepreneurial activities with businesses wishing to pursue their interests in the asserted Traditional Territory of the White River First Nation. Business ventures primarily focus on the areas of Renewable Energy, Industry Services, Rental Services and Tourism which show the greatest promise for sustainable business ventures for the WRDC, the people of the WRFN and the Yukon Territory.

About ATCO Electric Yukon
Through its investment in ATCO Yukon Electrical Company Limited, ATCO has been proudly serving electricity distribution customers in the Yukon Territory since 1901. Based in Whitehorse, Yukon, ATCO Electric Yukon serves more than 19,000 customers in 19 communities across the territory.  ATCO Electric Yukon is held by Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company. More information can be found at www.canadianutilities.com.

Media Contact
ATCO:
Erin MacDonald
Senior Marketing & Communications Advisor
ATCO Electric Yukon
867-687-3517
[email protected]

CNLP:
John Vandermeer
President
Copper Niisüü Limited Partnership on behalf of White River Development Corporation
867-332-1400
[email protected]

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