This spring, ATCO Electric Yukon will begin construction of the new Selkirk substation in Riverdale. The new substation is needed to meet the increasing demand for power in downtown Whitehorse and to help ensure that safe and reliable power continues to be delivered to customers. It will also serve to reduce capacity constraints on the existing power system and act as a back-up power source for existing substations located downtown.
The project received YESAB approval in 2014. Earlier this year, land for the project was secured. Construction will take place throughout the summer and fall, with the goal of the substation being energized and fully operational by the end of 2016.
After conversations with the owners of each of the proposed locations and based on public feedback received during the YESAB process, the area behind F.H. Collins High School was deemed to be the most suitable for the substation because of its distance away from homes and its close proximity to existing service roads.
An in-depth look at downtown’s existing power system showed that a new power source south of the area was needed to meet the growing demand for power in the area. Riverdale’s central location and close proximity to downtown meets a number of critical factors required for the new substation. The location is:
Close to an existing high voltage power source (i.e., the Whitehorse Rapids Dam), limiting the need for new transmission facilities.
Near the area it will supply power to allowing for easier interconnection with the existing power system.
In an area that can be easily accessed by service personnel during emergency situations, minimizing the duration of power outages.
ATCO Electric Yukon is committed to minimizing the impact of the Selkirk substation on the environment and residents in the community.
Wildlife: Vegetation on the site of the new substation will be removed prior to the nesting season for migratory and non-migratory birds. Bird protection equipment will be installed to deter birds from entering the substation.
Historic Artifacts: An independent Historic Resource Impact Assessment of the site found no evidence of heritage materials or cultural resources in the area.
Esthetic Appeal: Smaller pieces of equipment are being used to minimize the footprint of the substation– 40 m X 40 m. A buffer of trees will surround the substation when it is completed to reduce its visibility from nearby roads and trails.
Public Safety: Fencing will be installed around the site of the new substation and electrical equipment will remain de-energized until the final stages of the project. Residents and recreation users are asked to stay back of the work site and to keep pets on a leash when in the area.
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