Glossary of Terms

Energy Basics

Capacity (Demand): The supply (or consumption) of electrical power at a given instant in time. Usually measured in watts (W), kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW) depending on context. The annual peak demand is a key factor in sizing power lines and generators.

Kilowatt (kW) – 1000 watts

Megawatt (MW) –1000 kW

Energy: The supply (or consumption) of electrical power over a period of time. Usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh) for residential usage or gigawatt-hours (GWh) for regional/territorial usage. The annual energy supply must at least cover the annual energy consumption.

Kilowatt hour (kWh) – amount of energy used or produced in an hour

Example: Energy is power x time (1 MW or 1000 kW x 8760 hours per year = 8.76 GWh)

Example: a 100 watt light bulb I 10 hours consumes one kWh of electricity (100 watts x 10 hours = 1000 watts per hour (Wh) or 1 kWh)

Dispatcheable Generation: Refers to sources of electricity that can be dispatched at the request of power grid operators; that is, generating plants that can be turned on or off, or can adjust their power output on demand.

Generation Resource: The primary energy source that is converted to electrical power. Commons generation resources include hydro, wind, solar, or thermal (e.g. natural gas, coal or diesel).

Intermittent Energy: Any source of energy that is not continuously available due to some factor outside direct control (i.e wind blowing, or sun shinning).

Load: The electrical energy required to power homes, businesses and industrial processes. Sometimes referred to as demand.

Load Profile: A visualization of load (energy demand) over time).

Demand Side Management (DSM): The attempt to reduce overall electrical consumption at customer sites via initiatives, rate structures and or codes/standards. Demand side management, when used during peak demand periods, is useful to delay or avoid upgrading power lines.

Electrical Grid or “The Grid”: The connected network of transmission lines, substations and distribution lines that brings power from sources (e.g hydro plants, wind turbines, diesel generators) to users (homes, businesses and industrial projects).

Transmission Lines: Conductors strung on overhead structures (wood pole or lattice steel towers) or placed underground that deliver electric power over long distances from power plants to substations and are typically energized at 69 kV or higher.

Distribution Lines: Conductors strung on overhead structures or placed underground that deliver electric power from substations to user sites (e.g. homes, shopping centres, mines).

Resource Capacity: The quantity of a particular energy resource. It is usually reported on a site-by-site; regional or territorial basis in both capacity (MW) and energy (GWh) terms

Geothermal: The use of heat from the earth to generate electricity or provide space heating and cooling (Energy Strategy).

Biomass: Energy resources from organic matter, including wood, agriculture waste, and other living material that can be burned to produce electricity and heat (from the Energy Strategy).

Climate Change: A change in the average weather that a given region experiences. Climate change on a global scale includes changes to temperature, shifts in wind patterns, and changes to precipitation (from Climate Change Action Plan).

Independent Power Producer (IPP): An energy producer who generates electricity for sale to utilities or consumers such as the general public, businesses or industries (Energy Strategy).

Net Metering: When electricity consumers who own small, renewable energy generators such as wind or solar can receive a credit for a portion of the electricity they generate (Energy Strategy).

Renewable Energy: Energy that comes from sources renewed on an ongoing basis through natural processes. Examples include sun, wind, wood, flowing water, or relatively warm ground, air or water temperatures (from Climate Change Action Plan).

Sustainable Electricity: Is about pursing innovative business strategies and operating activities that meet the needs of members, stakeholders and the communities in which we operate, while protecting and enhancing the legacy we leave for future generations (Canadian Electricity Association)

The Public Utilities Act: Among other things defines a public utility as producing, generating, storing, transmitting, selling, delivering or furnishing electricity or gas to or for the public or a corporation for compensation. The act also defines the role of the Yukon Utilities Board (YUB) and the regulation of public utilities via a franchise. There are several Orders in Council that direct the YUB as well. One is the Rate Policy Directive (1995) O.I.C. 1995/090 that ensures ATCO Electric Yukon and Yukon Energy Corporation cannot charge customers different rates and all Yukon residential customers who use 1000 kWh or less per month are charged the same no matter their location in Yukon.

Hydro Basics

Hydropower: A form of electrical power generated by converting the kinetic energy of moving water to electricity using a turbine. The capacity of the resource is influenced by the flow and elevation drop (head).

Storage Hydro: Is a type of hydroelectric generation where a storage reservoir is created to store water to accommodate fluctuating river flows.

Run of River Hydro:  Is a type of hydroelectric generation where little or no water storage is used.

Micro Hydro: A category of very small hydropower generation that typically has a peak capacity of less than 100 kW and uses the natural flow of water.

Small Hydro: A category of hydropower generation that typically has a peak capacity of less than 10 MW and requires some form of weir in the stream or river.

Medium Hydro: A category of hydropower generation that typically has a peak capacity between 10 MW and 100 MW

Generation: The source of electrical power be it hydro, wind, solar, or thermal (fossil fuel).

Yukon Hydroelectric Power Planning Directive: Yukon government issued ‘The Directive’ to Yukon Development Corporation (YDC) in 2013. It Directs YDC to “plan one or more hydroelectric projects, together with supporting renewables and transmission. The directive has seven criteria for project selection.


Sustainable Development: Beneficial socio-economic change that does not undermine the ecological and social systems upon which communities and societies are dependent (Umbrella Final Agreement).

YESAB: Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board

YESAA: Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act