Energy News: Contract awarded for Yukon-Alaska economic corridor feasibility study

by Keith Powell
Map showing where the Northwest Transmission line is in British Columbia

— Photo courtesy Northern

WHITEHORSE—The governments of Yukon and Alaska have jointly awarded a $250,000 contract to assess the feasibility of developing electrical and telecommunications connections between Yukon and southeast Alaska.

A consortium of four consulting companies – led by Morrison Hershfield Limited, Whitehorse, partnering with Access Consulting Group, Whitehorse, Dryden & LaRue, Anchorage and InterGroup Consultants, Winnipeg – was the winning bidder in a competitive tendering process led by the Yukon government.

“Developing new and efficient telecommunications and energy infrastructure will stimulate private sector growth in both jurisdictions,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent said. “We’re looking forward to learning how this connection can potentially benefit Yukoners in significant ways.”

Susan Bell, Alaska Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development added: “The contract award is yet another milestone in developing increased economic opportunity and communication capacity for both Yukon and Southeast Alaska.”

In October 2013 both parties signed a memorandum of understanding to fund a feasibility study for a combined electrical transmission and telecommunications connection between Whitehorse, Yukon and Skagway, Alaska. In February 2014 both governments agreed to issue a request for proposal for the study.

The winning group of companies will also examine the financial, technical and economic viability of creating an economic corridor for the development of new electrical generation options near Skagway.

The consultants’ final report will be presented to the Yukon-Southeast Alaska Economic Development Corridor Working Group by December 31.

The development of this economic corridor is a result of the partnership created by the Alaska-Yukon Intergovernmental Relations Accord signed in June 2012.

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