Government Commitments


Haeckle Hill is the North’s first entirely Indigenous-owned clean energy project

October 6, 2023

The Haeckle Hill Wind Energy farm will generate enough clean energy to power 650 homes per year.

APTN News: The Kwanlin Dün First Nation in Whitehorse will soon be offsetting Yukon’s carbon emissions thanks to a new green energy project. The Haeckle Hill Wind Energy farm is a four-megawatt wind turbine project located just northwest of Whitehorse.

The turbines were developed by Eagle Hill Energy LP, a subsidiary under Chu Níikwän, Kwanlin Dün’s development corporation, making it the first 100 per cent Indigenous owned clean energy project in northern Canada.

“Today, Kwanlin Dün’s corporation Chu Níikwän has developed this project, meaning good clean renewable energy is being produced on Thäy T’äw, in the heart of our Traditional Territory for our community. It makes me proud to support this project that will provide for years to come,” said Chief Sean Smith.

The total cost of the project totalled $29.8 million. Funding was provided from the federal government,  the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities Program and Eagle Hill.

The four-turbine project replaces two now-decommissioned turbines previously owned by Yukon Energy, increasing its power output from 600 to 1,000 kilowatts.

The turbines are expected to produce enough clean energy to remove the equivalent of more than 40 million liters of diesel fuel, offsetting up to 115,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the territory.

Les Wilson, Chu Níikwän’s director of development, said the project will power up to 650 Yukon homes per year over the next 20 years. “Our vision for this project was simple,” he said. “Reduce our community’s reliance on imported fossil fuels using the power of the wind.”

New and improved design

The turbines were specially designed for Yukon’s cold weather climate and will operate during the winter months when wind energy is more abundant and consistent. That includes de-icing technology like black heated blades to help with de-icing in the winter.

With a maximum height of 46 meters, the new turbines are also taller than the originals in order to access stronger airflow and their blades are bigger to allow for greater wind energy capture.

Wind Turbines
Kwanlin Dün First Nation Chief and Council stands amid the Haeckle Hill Wind Project along with Chu Níikwän CEO Rick O’Brien (second from left) and Eagle Hill Energy LP Director Malek Tawashy (far right). Photo: Northern Energy Capital/Supplied

During the event, much importance was also placed on the name Eagle Hill Energy. The subsidiary’s name stems from Thay T’äw, the Southern Tutchone name for Haeckle Hill, meaning Golden Eagle Nest.

A Kwanlin Dün traditional story states a giant eagle once nested on top of the mountain.

Rick O’Brien, a former Kwanlin Dün chief and Chu Níikwän’s CEO, said he considers the project to be reconciliation in action.

“I have my own vision of reconciliation, (it’s) to be part of the environment, part of the economic development opportunities in Yukon, to be visual and also see our logos out there, just to be part of the community and be involved financially,” he said. “It also means empowering our people.”

The turbines are expected to be operational later this year.