Sask. coal power plant shuts down after half-century

After 54 years of operations, Saskatchewan's oldest coal-fired power plant is being shut down this weekend.

Shuttering coal plant in favour of less polluting power

(Courtesy of SaskPower)

After 54 years of powering the province, Saskatchewan's oldest coal-fired power plant is being shut down this weekend. 

The closure of Boundary Dam Unit 2 follows last year's shut down of Unit 1. 

Tim Schuster, Senior Director at the power station, says the unit played a role in building Saskatchewan. He says the shutdowns are nostalgic events for people who spent their entire careers at Boundary Dam.

"There's a certain sentimentality that goes with the fact that those units, after such a long service life, are going to be taken out of service," he said.

SaskPower says the 61 megawatts produced by Unit 2 will be replaced by an increase in natural gas generation, as well as electricity sold to the province by Manitoba Hydro. 

Coal-fired steam generators, like Unit 2, produce more carbon emissions per megawatt than other forms of power generation like natural gas or wind. 

While the shutdown represents a move away from coal power in Saskatchewan, nearby Boundary Dam Unit 3 -- also a coal-powered generator -- is being outfitted with a cutting edge carbon capture storage system. 

When complete, it's expected the system will reduce the plant's emissions by ninety percent. 

Unit 2 shuts down on Monday.