The Kaska Nation territory consists of 10% of British Columbia and 20% of Yukon territory, spanning approximately 240,000 sq km. The Kaska Nation Renewable Energy Resource Assessment project involved analyzing wind, hydropower and geothermal energy opportunities across this vast territory and identifying commercial scale electricity production opportunities for the Nation to pursue.
Communities within the territory are not connected to the main BC Hydro operated electricity grid and are primarily served by community-scale diesel generation, including the Watson Lake Diesel facility operated by ATCO Electric Yukon. Therefore, opportunities in closer proximity to Watson Lake were prioritized. The resource assessment was completed in stages due to the vastness of the territory. Communication and relationship building began in 2008, and the Northern, Central and Southern regions of the territory were sequentially assessed thereafter. A variety of hydro and wind generation opportunities were identified throughout the territory, with the distance of transmission lines being a critical factor driving the economics of these project opportunities.
The inventory did not identify any obvious energy development projects to immediately displace diesel generation at Watson Lake. Nevertheless, three potential projects were identified that warrant further consideration. These included two hydropower projects as well as a deep geothermal project opportunity that has the potential to be a first-of-its-kind project in Canada. This opportunity is now being explored further in partnership between Yukon Geological Survey and Liard First Nation, one of the 5 Kaska Nations. BPG is currently supporting Liard First Nation’s involvement in the project, which is the exploration phase.
This project has received support from the Government of Canada.