The Power of Independence: Yukon Launches IPP Policy

Flag of Yukon

The Government of Yukon has fully implemented its Independent Power Production (IPP) policy as of January 25, 2019. The IPP policy aims to meet the growing power demands of Yukon, which is independent from the North American power grid, giving it unique challenges and, here, unique opportunities. The IPP policy encourages independent power producers (non-governmental entities who make power) to provide Yukon’s utilities with renewable energy. Renewable energy sources for the IPP policy’s purposes are wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydro.

Smaller power projects – between 30 and 2000 kilowatts in nameplate capacity (read: what the project would produce in ideal circumstances) are subject to a “standing offer program,” which will provide a standard rate of payment for those producing power. There is also a “micro generation policy” (distinct from the IPP) for Yukoners who have a project below 50 kilowatts in nameplate capacity and who simply want to offset their own household energy demands. “Call for Power” and “Unsolicited Proposals” are for larger projects, with the former being a call for renewable energy proposals but out by the Government of Yukon as needed, and the latter being a way for independent power producers to propose a large project any time they like.

The IPP policy aims to provide 10% of Yukon’s power via independent means and have 50% of IPP projects have some manner of First Nations ownership. Ambitious on its face, the IPP policy aims not only to meet environmental challenges but also to give Yukon’s large First Nations population a hand up by encouraging the undertaking of good works. The IPP is an environmentalist initiative that encourages local solutions to local problems and engagement from the people instead of more endless, expensive work from their servants.

From a civil liberties standpoint, the IPP policy is beneficial. The Government of Yukon’s encouragement of little independent power “platoons” provides hope to those concerned about the environment. Here, the individual can make a difference, and Yukon is banking on them doing so. Recognizing the great potential – and therefore the great worth – of every citizen is one of the cornerstones of civil liberty. I look forward to seeing what results the IPP policy will yield.

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.

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