Government of Yukon

February 25, 2014

Yukon and Alaska moving forward on feasibility study for potential economic corridor

WHITEHORSE—The governments of Yukon and Alaska are jointly issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to get a contractor to assess the feasibility of developing electrical and telecommunication connections between Yukon and southeast Alaska.

“Through this international collaboration, our intent is to increase and improve economic development opportunities,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent said. “Our mutual vision is to strengthen our communities through improved telecommunications infrastructure and reliable and affordable energy.”

In October 2013 the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to fund the feasibility study assessing the potential for a combined electrical transmission and telecommunications connection between the City of Whitehorse, Yukon and the Municipality of Skagway, Alaska.

The Yukon government is leading the contracting process on behalf of the two governments.

“Yukon and Alaska have enjoyed a long history of working together and collaborating on projects like this allows us to strengthen and grow our economies as well as our friendship,” Minister of Economic Development Currie Dixon said. “Infrastructure projects like this will provide benefits for both our economies and will further integrate our already well-connected jurisdictions.”

“I am pleased to see continued progress through the issuance of this RFP as Yukon and Alaska evaluate the cross border benefits that would flow from a Skagway to Whitehorse economic development corridor,” Alaska Commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Susan Bell said. “Increased development of renewable energy and greater broadband communication capacity will benefit the entire Upper Lynn Canal economic region and help to strengthen our communities.”

The successful bidder will also examine the financial, technical and economic viability of creating an economic corridor that could facilitate the development of new electrical generation options near Skagway.

The $250,000 contract is expected to be awarded in April with a final report due to the joint Yukon-Southeast Alaska Economic Development Corridor Working Group by December 31.

This development of the economic corridor is part of an ongoing partnership as per the Alaska-Yukon Intergovernmental Relations Accord signed in June 2012.

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Elaine Schiman
Cabinet Communications

Brigitte Parker
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources

Shay Kokiw
Communications, Economic Development

Gene Therriault
Deputy Director, Alaska Energy Authority

News Release #14-044