Yukon extends and expands Innovative and Renewable Energy Initiative
By Anthony Capkun
July 27, 2021 – Yukon is “extending and expanding” its Innovative & Renewable Energy Initiative (IREI), saying the changes will make the fund more accessible and reduce the territory’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Applicants to the initiative may apply for funding for 75% of eligible expenditures, and up to $150,000 for feasibility; $300,000 for design; and $500,000 for implementation. Any one project may receive up to $500,000 in total across all project stages.
IREI will also receive $1 million in additional annual funding, bringing the total to $2.5 million per year, to support more small-scale First Nation and community-led renewable electricity and heat generation projects.
Established in 2017, the initiative supports the territory’s efforts to develop “local business opportunities, increase clean energy generation and reduce diesel use”, says the government. A range of technologies are supported through IREI, including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, energy storage and demand-side management projects.
IREI has already provided funding to 16 projects in communities across the territory. Half of the funding allotted to-date has gone to First Nation governments and development corporations; nearly a third has gone to community-based businesses or a public utility; and the remainder has gone to municipalities.
Funded projects include the Haeckel Hill Wind Project, Old Crow Solar Project, Teslin Biomass Project, and Kluane Wind Project.
“The IREI is contributing to the territory’s Our Clean Future goals of establishing independent power production projects in all off-grid communities by 2030, and generating 97% of electricity on the Yukon’s grid from renewable sources by 2030,” says the government.
Projects approved through the initiative must generate energy in the Yukon with “proven technologies from renewable sources”.