This is SaskPower’s Yellowhead Power Station. In this image the Station is currently being constructed. Photo taken Summer 2010. SaskPower

REGINA – Even as it announces new renewable power generation, SaskPower is building natural gas-fired power generation to back it up.

A day after announcing the opening of a new 10 megawatt solar facility at Weyburn, SaskPower announced it would be expanding its peaking stations at North Battleford and Kerrobert.

The Crown utility said in a release on July 20, “As part of its continued efforts to provide reliable, cost-effective power to customers, SaskPower will add two new natural gas turbines to its generation fleet.

“One simple cycle gas turbine will be added to Ermine Power Station, located near Kerrobert, and another will be added to the Yellowhead Power Station, located near North Battleford. Each of the turbines will generate 46 megawatts, enough to power approximately 46,000 homes.”

This is notable, as the previous day, SaskPower said it expects 10 megawatts of solar power to produce enough for 2,500 homes, as solar is expected to only produce power 25 per cent of the it’s nameplate capacity over the year. And that was addressed in the release, with Tim Eckel, SaskPower Vice-President of Asset Management, Planning & Sustainability, saying, “Adding turbines to existing power stations is the fastest and most cost-effective option to increase the amount of baseload power available in the province.”

“This power will also support intermittent renewable generation options such as wind and solar.”

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Yellowhead Power Station is a simple cycle natural-gas fired power station, currently with three turbines. It was built on the edge of North Battleford and went into operation in 2010. It currently has 135 megawatts of capacity. The addition of the new generator will bring it to 181 megawatts. When it was originally announced, SaskPower intended its use for peaking. At roughly the same time, the company made a power purchase agreement with Northlands Power for a 289 megawatts combined cycle natural gas-fired baseload facility a few kilometres to the east of North Battleford. It opened in 2013. Combined cycle natural gas-fired facilities are more efficient and have lower emissions than simple cycle turbines, like those at the Yellowhead facility.

As for the Ermine Power Station, it currently has two generating units with a combined 90 megawatt capacity. It is immediately adjacent to Enbridge’s mainline terminal and the nearly completed Independent Energy micro-refinery. There is also a dormant crude-by-rail facility nearby. Ermine went into operation in 2009.

SaskPower’s Ermine Power Station, southeast of Kerrobert and adjacent to Enbridge’s mainline terminal. SaskPower

SaskPower has shortlisted Burns & McDonnell and Graham – Black & Veatch as potential build partners for the project. The competitive selection process is expected to be complete in late September 2022. The new turbines at Ermine and Yellowhead will be in-service by late 2024 and late 2025, respectively.

SaskPower said it is is currently on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and is working toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. To meet this goal, SaskPower said it is evaluating and/or developing a comprehensive range of non-emitting power supply options, including expanded wind and solar, strengthening electrical interconnections with neighbouring jurisdictions, biomass, geothermal, and nuclear power from small modular reactors. On June 27, SaskPower announced it had chosen the General Electric-Hitachi BWRX-300 small modular reactor for potential deployment in this province.

In April, SaskPower announced the Golden South Wind Facility, owned and operated by Potentia Renewables and located near Assiniboia was now online, with 200 megawatts of nameplate power capacity.

Similarly, the Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp owned and operated Blue Hill Wind Facility near Herbert added 175 megawatts of nameplate power generation capacity. However, as Pipeline Online has observed from publicly available data on Alberta’s grid, wind generation in that province rarely produces close to the listed nameplate capacity. At the time of writing at 12:08 a.m., July 21, Alberta’s 2,269 megawatts of wind capacity across 26 wind farms was producing 776 megawatts. SaskPower does not publish similar information.

“Natural gas generation is an important part of a staged approach that will help to transition toward these non-emitting options and replace capacity from conventional coal facilities that must be retired by 2030. Natural gas generation is reliable and cost-effective, and produces approximately half the emissions of conventional coal,” the company said in a release.

  • 0037 TED_DEEP_30_
  • 0036 Prairie Lithium - Chad Glemser 30 Sec
  • 0035 TED - Whitecap
  • 0034 TED_NA Helium 2021
  • 0033 Buffalo Potash Jared Small Footprint
  • 0032 IWS Summer hiring rock trailer music
  • 0029 Latus Viro updated Latus phone
  • 0027 TED_NA Helium 2021_30
  • 0025 Kendalls
  • 0026 Buffalo Potash Quinton Salt
  • 0023 LC Trucking tractor picker hiring mix
  • 0022 Grimes winter hiring
  • 0021 OSY Rentals S8 Promo
  • 0019 Jerry Mainil Ltd hiring dugout
  • 0018 IWS Hiring Royal Summer
  • 0014 Buffalo Potash What if PO
  • 0013 Panther Drilling PO ad 03 top drive rigs
  • 0011
  • 0006 JK Junior
  • 0004 Royal Helium PO Ad 02
  • 9001
  • 0002

 

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