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Friday, October 24, 2014
Saskatchewan

SUSTAINABLE AND RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY SOURCES WILL POWER SASKATCHEWAN’S FUTURE

The Government of Saskatchewan is investing more than $500 million in a suite of sustainable and renewable energy programs that will significantly advance the province's Green Strategy and Energy and Climate Change Plan.

"Our green and prosperous economy is growing, and these investments - which balance fiscal and environmental responsibility - will meet the province's growing electricity needs from 2010 to 2014," Premier Lorne Calvert said. "But even more importantly, they will help the province achieve our goal of having 30 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. This will make Saskatchewan an even better place for families and our young people."

To position the electrical grid for additional wind, biomass and other renewable generation projects, SaskPower will install up to 400 megawatts of simple cycle natural gas turbines, at a capital cost of approximately $525 million. The turbines will be installed over the next five years, in areas where electricity supply is most needed. This will reinforce the existing electrical system and minimize transmission costs.

"SaskPower's electrical generating fleet will continue to be powered by both renewable and traditional energy sources but, moving forward, all new generation will be either emissions-free or fully offset by emissions credits," Minister responsible for SaskPower John Nilson said. "These natural gas units are very attractive given their relatively low capital cost, and they can be started and stopped to support the availability of wind generation. This positions us well for the growth of wind power in Saskatchewan, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions."

The province will expand the Green Power Portfolio - currently the 150-megawatt Centennial Wind Power Facility and customer energy efficiency and conservation initiatives - to include:

  • The expansion of wind generation in Saskatchewan, with a goal of an additional 100 megawatts by 2012; 
  • Delivery of waste heat recovery projects, with a goal of 50 megawatts by 2010; 
  • Delivery of biomass forestry projects, with a goal of 20 megawatts by 2010; 
  • A net metering program, which will allow customers to generate their own electricity and send excess electricity to the electrical grid for a credit toward their energy costs; 
  • Phase Three of the Environmentally Preferred Power Program, to solicit additional renewable power projects from the private sector; and,
  • More energy efficiency and conservation programs, with a target of reducing electricity demand by 300 megawatts by 2017.

Details related to these programs will be announced in the coming months.

Leading up to this supply decision, SaskPower investigated and analyzed a number of supply options, including clean coal, polygeneration and large-scale hydro. SaskPower will continue to explore these and all other available options as it looks forward to its next supply decision, expected in 2009.

"We remain fully committed to exploring clean coal as a supply option in the longer-term," SaskPower president and CEO Pat Youzwa said. "Over the last year, our feasibility work has given us a great deal of confidence in clean coal from a technology perspective. But, given the need for new supply by 2010, and given the costs of clean coal at this early stage in its development, it would have been premature to proceed to the construction phase at this time."

SaskPower will continue to study clean coal, and it will be one of the supply options considered again in 2009 for the post-2014 period.

Additional information is available on saskpower.com.

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For more information, contact:

Jay Branch
Executive Council
Regina
Phone: 306-787-6349
Email: shawna.kelly@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-539-3994

Larry Christie
SaskPower
Regina
Phone: 306-536-2886
Email: lchristie@saskpower.com
Cell: 306-536-2886

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