Growing Saskatchewan’s Renewable Energy Portfolio
Saskatchewan has a tremendous untapped wind energy resource, a fact the provincial government recognized in 2015 when it unveiled a plan to have wind energy make up 30 per cent of the province’s electricity generating capacity by 2030. Meeting the target will make Saskatchewan a wind energy leader in Canada.
The province currently has 221 MW of installed wind energy capacity, about three per cent of the total generation fleet. Increasing that to 30 per cent leads to SaskPower’s plans to add about 1,900 MW of new wind energy to its grid by 2030.
The province’s plan is driven by the recognition that wind energy is a low-cost, emission-free way to meet demand and diversify Saskatchewan’s supply mix. Its wind energy target is part of a broader strategy that will see renewable energy sources make up 50 per cent of generating capacity by 2030, cutting power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels.
So far in 2018, the Government of Saskatchewan has made commitments that will add nearly 400 MW of wind energy capacity to their grid. First, in September, the Ministry of Environment approved the 177 MW Blue Hill Wind Energy Project, which will be operational by 2021. Additionally in October, SaskPower announced that it had signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the first procurement in reaching its wind energy goals. The highly competitive procurement process attracted widespread interest from the wind energy industry. The average price of all 29 bids was $42 per megawatt hour, including the cost of connecting the facility to the grid, with the winning bid coming in well below that. This not only ensures low-cost electricity supply for Saskatchewan ratepayers, but also generate significant economic benefits for the province and for communities that host wind energy projects.
Wind by the numbers in Saskatchewan (August 2018)
Number of installations: 7
Number of Wind Turbines: 143
Total Installed Capacity (MW): 221 MW
Average Turbine Capacity (MW): 1.55 MW
- In October 2018, SaskPower announced the successful proponent for the province’s latest utility-scale wind power project. Check out CanWEA’s News Release: SaskPower contract award confirms the value of wind energy as the province moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the economy.
- In December 2017, the province released its Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy. The strategy reaffirms SaskPower’s commitment to renewable resources and cutting power sector greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels.
- A 2015 Opinion Survey conducted by Oracle Research, found more than three-quarters of Saskatchewan residents think more should be done to encourage wind energy development in the province, a similar margin felt that taking action on climate change ought to be a priority for the province.
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