Whitehorse District Heating Study

A group made up of Yukon Energy, the City of Whitehorse, Cold Climate Innovation, the Energy Solutions Centre, and the Yukon government, hired a consulting firm to look into a community energy system for Whitehorse. The purpose of the study was to examine whether such a system is economically and technically feasible in the city.

Project Overview

A community energy system typically delivers heat to a number of buildings via a network of underground pipes from a central source. Benefits could include:

  • allowing Yukoners access to alternative energy in their homes
  • potential development of a biomass fuel industry in Yukon (energy related employment, enhanced local/regional energy economy, greater energy security and improved local control)
  • meeting the City of Whitehorse’s Sustainability and Official Community Plan objectives and meeting some of the Yukon Energy Strategy goals and certain Climate Change Action Plan objectives
  • a reduction in pollution due to the efficiency of a centralized system.

The study looked at several potential customers and examined 11 different building scenarios. Researchers found that the best option was one that connected 43 buildings along Lewes Boulevard, Hospital Road, and the Whitehorse downtown core.

This project assessed several different heat sources, including biomass with wood chips, biomass with pellets, using both types of biomass to produce both heat and electricity, (cogeneration) liquefied natural gas heat or cogeneration, and using heat recovery from the existing engines. The base case scenario was cogeneration from fuel oil.

Researchers concluded that the most economic option was: using biomass combined with an Organic Rankine Cycle (a method of converting hot air into electricity). The second most economic option was cogeneration from liquefied natural gas.

  • Yukon Energy
  • Government of Yukon
  • City of Whitehorse
  • Energy Solutions Centre