Government Invests in Clean Energy Initiatives in Yukon

News release

September 22, 2020                                        Whitehorse, Yukon                                         Natural Resources Canada                   

As Canada’s North continues to experience the impacts of climate change, many Indigenous communities have identified clean, reliable energy as key to a resilient future. This is why the Government of Canada is investing in clean energy projects across the territories, so that, together, we can work to achieve Canada’s commitment to transitioning Indigenous communities away from diesel by 2030 while prioritizing reconciliation, self-determination, and community-led clean energy projects.

Larry Bagnell, Member of Parliament for Yukon, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a $5.4-million investment in five community-led clean energy projects in Yukon. This funding will support communities in their efforts to build a cleaner future and reduce their reliance on diesel fuel for heat and power while creating jobs.

The investments are:

  • $2.1 million to Carcross/Tagish First Nation to install a biomass district heating system to displace existing electric and fossil fuel heating systems in five community buildings;
  • $1.6 million to the Yukon Conservation Society to evaluate the technical feasibility and customer acceptance of utility-controlled electric thermal storage heaters that can provide reliable electricity capacity;
  • $800,000 to Teslin Tlingit Council to construct a biomass district heating system for eight new duplexes, including 16 housing units, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs for the community;
  • $574,000 to the Government of Yukon to work collaboratively with Yukon First Nations to evaluate and address gaps that delay the deployment of energy projects in communities; and
  • $345,900 to Kluane First Nation to develop a forest resources management plan for the First Nation settlement lands to meet current and future local biomass heating needs.

Funding for the projects is from the Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities program. The six-year, $220-million program aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in rural and remote communities by deploying and demonstrating renewable energy, encouraging energy efficiency and building local skills and capacity. It is part of the government’s Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, a $180-billion investment over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

The government supports innovative energy initiatives that reduce our carbon footprint, create healthier communities and provide opportunities for economic development. This commitment will be more important than ever as we reopen the economy and plan our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.


“These communities are fighting climate change by taking control of their energy futures and being leaders in the clean energy economy.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Clean energy is central to achieve net zero by 2050. Our government continues to work with Indigenous communities to transition away from diesel reliance and to invest in community-driven projects in remote and rural communities.”

Larry Bagnell
Member of Parliament for Yukon

“With the Government of Canada’s Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities funding, the Government of Yukon has launched a three-year initiative to better support Yukon First Nations with local energy projects. We are excited to be working in partnership with Yukon First Nations as we move toward a low-carbon energy supply that meets our territory’s growing demands and facilitates ongoing economic growth and prosperity in Yukon.”

The Honourable Ranj Pillai
Government of Yukon Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources

“The Yukon Conservation Society is appreciative of NRCan’s support for the Yukon Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) Demonstration Project during such a crucial time in the advancements of green energy projects in Yukon. We would not have had this opportunity to demonstrate the potential for electric thermal storage to assist in Yukon’s pursuit of a greener future without this funding. This project represents steps forward toward the renewable-powered, energy-independent Yukon that the Yukon Conservation Society has been working toward for over 50 years.”

Coral Voss
Executive Director, Yukon Conversation Society

“Biomass technology presents economic opportunities for the TTC and its citizens while reducing forest fire risks around Teslin and its Traditional Territory. The ultimate goal of the Teslin Community Energy Strategy is to provide the community with the complete means to be energy self-sufficient.”

Chief Richard Sidney
Teslin Tlingit Council

“The Kluane First Nation Forest Resources Management Plan project strengthens Kluane First Nation’s ability to self-govern in a planned and measured way. This project has strengthened community resilience through the identification of local resources for biomass heating, as well as provided our community with valuable skills in the forestry sector that will see many benefits into the future. Kluane First Nation would like to express appreciation to Natural Resources Canada for its support of this project.”

Chief Bob Dickson
Kluane First Nation

“Our environment is key to our way of life, and we are committed to continue finding ways to produce clean energy. This biomass heating system will mark a significant upgrade to our community’s infrastructure. Carcross/Tagish First Nation is proud to work with the Government of Canada in our joint pursuit of a sustainable future.”

Chief Lynda Dickson
Carcross/Tagish First Nation

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Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations

Ian Cameron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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