The credibility of government owned SaskPower is at stake in the eyes of independent power developers. It cancelled two request for proposals recently and developers are concerned that its 3 MW wind RFP might fall by the wayside, too.

Government owned SaskPower generates well over two-thirds of its electricity from the abundant lignite coal reserves of southern Saskatchewan. Hydroelectricity, about 20% of the total, is generated by northern rivers.

SaskPower disappointed independent power developers in two false starts of Non Utility Generation (NUG) power acquisition. The province cancelled its first request for proposals (RFP) for 10 MW of wind two years ago after nearly a dozen proponents responded. However, six proponent sites were included in the utility's recent wind resource assessment. More recently, SaskPower terminated an RFP for 25 MW of NUG power announced in March 1993, after proponents submitted ten proposals for projects using a variety of fuels.

"Can we trust SaskPower to complete its new 3 MW solicitation for wind power after these precedents, which cost our company dearly?" commented one chief executive officer at the conference.

SaskPower currently reports an annual growth in electricity demand of about 1% annually, well below earlier planning expectations, and says major new capacity is not immediately required. Roy Yeske of the utility claims it would suffer economically if it purchases NUG power in a time of surplus. Nonetheless, like Ontario Hydro, the utility intends to gain operating experience with wind power, to be poised for acquisition of renewable capacity when required. Doug Anguish, Saskatchewan's Minister of Energy and Mines, pledged that SaskPower and the Saskatchewan government really will carry the wind project through to completion this time around.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in