Utility project in Saskatchewan

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A provincial government green power purchase, totalling C$5 million over ten years, is driving the installation of another 5.3 MW of wind in Saskatchewan. SaskPower, the province's government owned utility, will own and operate the wind farm and is now preparing a request for proposals to select a supplier. Construction will start in the spring and the plant is scheduled to be operational August 2002.

"The opportunity to support green power is an important step forward in providing the people of Saskatchewan with alternative energy sources now and in the future," says Premier Lorne Calvert. In addition to the province's purchase, SaskPower will spend C$2.6 million over ten years to supply wind power to its Regina head office.

SaskPower is planning to introduce a province-wide green energy program next year. Individual contracts will be negotiated with high volume users, while other customers will pay for a fixed quantity of wind power through a premium on their utility bill. The amount will range from $5-$6 for between 90-110 kWh a month.

"Down the line there may be something else, but initially our green power package is going to be all wind," says SaskPower's Larry Christie. Christie says SaskPower's 426,000 customers also believe it is appropriate the utility build and operate its own power plants. It now owns 14 generation facilities (3000 MW), 75% of which is fossil fuelled with the balance dependent on hydro. "There's a clear expectation from our customers, and also people will be proud to say, that SaskPower is in the wind power game now and not just buying electricity through a long term contract."

It is the second wind project announced in Saskatchewan in past months. Construction of the 11 MW SunBridge wind plant will begin in the summer (Windpower Monthly, May 2001).

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