SaskPower to use wind, solar, geothermal to hit 50% renewable mark by 2030

The Crown Corporation SaskPower has revealed details of how it plans to double the percentage of renewable energy used in the province by 2030.

Provincial power company plans to reduce greenhouse gas by 40% from 2005 levels

A SaskPower wind turbine is erected near Morse, Sask. (SaskPower)

Saskatchewan's power company has confirmed that it will double the percentage of electrical renewable energy used in the province by 2030, 15 years from now. 

SaskPower's president, Mike Marsh made the announcement today, alongside the provincial minister responsible for SaskPower, Bill Boyd. The minister said that the plan will reduce the province's greenhouse has emission by 40 per cent, based on 2005 levels. 

"An objective of 50 per cent renewable power by 2030 is ambitious, but I'm confident SaskPower can meet the target by taking an 'all of the above' approach to planning," Boyd said. 

He said it means a major expansion of wind power augmented by other renewables, such as solar, biomass, geothermal and hydro, along with SaskPower's carbon capture project at Boundary Dam. 

Boyd touted the plan as one that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring the province has reliable electricity sources into the future.

SaskPower's prototype carbon capture facility is located near Estevan, Sask. (SaskPower)

A release issued by the company states that approximately 25 per cent of the province's generation capacity comes from renewable sources. It breaks down to 20 per cent from hydro and five per cent from wind.

SaskPower estimates the cost of the plan will be $1 per month on power bills each year until 2030.

The company also said it plans to use solar power for generating electricity, with a procurement process for that set to start next year. If successful, such a plan would include at least 60 megawatts of solar power, according to the release.

By way of comparison, the province's current five per cent of wind power generation is equivalent to 220 megawatts.

To hit that 50 per cent goal by 2030, SaskPower says it will try to procure another 100 megawatts of wind power next year, as well as develop as much as 800 megawatts of new wind generation between 2019 and 2030.

Company president Mike Marsh said SaskPower is still working out where all of the wind turbines and solar panels will go.

"The price of wind [power] has come down around the world. This provides an opportunity for Saskatchewan, and it's a very good one," he said.

The company said in its release that it would continue to explore carbon capture and storage.

Coal still is a fuel that SaskPower wants to use in the future," Boyd added, "although it will have to have carbon capture and storage associated with it."