Canadian utility SaskPower announced that Potentia Renewables Inc. is the successful proponent for the province’s latest utility-scale wind power project. Potentia’s Golden South Wind Energy Facility is a 200-MW project that will produce enough renewable electricity for approximately 90,000 Saskatchewan homes.
“This new wind energy project further demonstrates our commitment to renewable energy as part of our comprehensive provincial climate change strategy” said SaskPower Minister Dustin Duncan. “Despite what the federal government says, our opposition to the federal carbon tax does not mean we don’t believe in climate action.”
Reducing greenhouse gases and increasing the province’s renewable electrical generating capacity — such as wind and solar — are key elements of Saskatchewan’s climate change strategy, Prairie Resilience, which was released in December 2017.
“Congratulations to everyone at Potentia on their winning proposal. We look forward to working with you as this project begins to take shape,” said SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh. “Wind power will play a significant role in our goal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030. This added renewable power is an important step towards reaching that goal.”
SaskPower and Potentia have signed a 25-year power purchase agreement for the project, which will be located south of Assiniboia. The project will consist of up to 60 wind turbines, bringing SaskPower’s total wind power capacity to more than 600 MW. Potentia is a fully integrated developer, owner and operator of renewable energy assets in North and South America. Potentia is owned by Power Energy Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.
“Potentia is pleased at having been selected by SaskPower in the competitive tender process. This success represents a milestone for Potentia, achieved through a decade of development efforts by our subsidiary Sequoia Energy in cooperation with the government, local communities and landowners” said Jeff Jenner, Chief Executive Officer of Potentia. “We look forward to working with SaskPower to deliver additional renewable energy to the Saskatchewan electricity grid while bringing economic benefits associated with the facility to the Province, local suppliers, communities and landowners.”
The competitive process for this project started early last year. SaskPower reviewed 29 proposals from 15 pre-qualified proponents during the request for proposals phase. All proposals were evaluated equally, through a competitive process that is open and transparent with the vendor and supplier community. The average price of all 29 bids was $42/MWh, including the cost of connecting the facility to the grid. The winning bid provided by Potentia came in well below that.
“Saskatchewan has set significant targets for wind energy growth, and wind energy is poised to make an important contribution to the success of the province’s climate change strategy. The high level of interest in this procurement shows that wind energy developers are ready to invest in the province as it reliably increases the integration of this low-cost, non-emitting energy into the supply mix,” said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association. “We look forward to future procurements that will allow wind energy to continue to enhance its contribution to SaskPower’s greenhouse gas emission reduction objectives.”
When developing a project of this nature, standard criteria such as environmental impact, proximity to electrical infrastructure, and local community input are important considerations. The proponent is responsible for obtaining the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Environment before proceeding with the construction of the project.
SaskPower expects the next competitive process for another utility-scale wind project to get underway in mid-2019 as we work towards our 2030 goals.