SaskPower outlines plans to boost wind power

SaskPower wants to buy the extra wind power from private companies that bid for the work, said Bill Boyd, the minister responsible for the utility says.

SaskPower, the province's government-owned utility, wants to double the amount of electricity it gets from wind over the next four years — adding 200 megawatts of generating capacity.

The Crown corporation announced two new "partnership" programs on Wednesday that it hopes will help it reach that goal in four years.

SaskPower wants to buy the extra wind power from private companies that bid for the work, said Bill Boyd, the minister responsible for the utility.

"Independent power producers bring technological know-how, an innovative spirit and capital to the partnerships with SaskPower," he said.

Currently, the province gets most of its electricity from coal and natural gas, fossil fuels that scientists say contribute to global warming when burned.

The NDP Opposition likes the idea of more wind power and while partnering with private companies is sometimes a good idea, that isn't always the case, NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon said.

"Just solely going with purchase power agreements with built-in profits to entities that may likely flow to outside this province ... I think we should be cautious on that," he said. More information will be available by the end of this year for companies, both large and small,  that want to put forward proposals, SaskPower officials say.