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Saskpower awards power-purchase agreements to three firms

CANADA: Three Saskatchewan wind projects were chosen from among a whopping 282 applicants to receive power-purchase agreements in government-owned SaskPower's renewable-energy standing-offer programme.

Saskpower was responsible for the "lottery" that decided the three contracts. Photograph: Richard Winchell
Saskpower was responsible for the "lottery" that decided the three contracts. Photograph: Richard Winchell

SaskPower used a lottery system to select the winning projects, which include two Gaia Power 9.9MW projects near Grenfell and one 5MW project, developed by Gaia-affiliate Windlectric, near the community of Morse.

While the wind-power purchases under the programme — which targets projects in the 100kW-10MW range — were capped at 25MW for 2011, the utility received more than 2.7GW of proposals. Saskatchewan's entire generating capacity is now just under 4GW.

Winning applicants have three years to begin feeding power to the grid, with the price paid for the power dependent on the target commercial date. Projects coming online in 2012 will receive C$98.02/MWh (US$101.78).

The stiff competition for wind-power contracts in Saskatchewan is not limited to small-scale facilities. SaskPower received 41 proposals, totalling 5.8GW in a request for qualifications released last year.

It has since pared those down to a shortlist of 27 projects totalling 4.3GW, with final bids due 21 September. Contract awards for 175MW of wind capacity are expected in February 2012.

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