Canadian utility SaskPower plans to invest in new generation as part of a $1.6 billion modernization plan during the 2024-25 fiscal year.

The $710 million in investments includes the construction of the Aspen Power Station Project and the Ermine and Yellowhead expansions.

The Aspen Power Project will be a 370 MW natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) plant. The project is expected to come online by Spring 2028. Burns & McDonnell was recently announced as the EPC contractor.

SaskPower is adding a simple cycle natural gas turbine to the Ermine Power Station. This will be the facility’s third turbine and will produce an additional 46 MW of power. It is expected to be in-service in May 2025.

The utility is also adding 46 MW at the Yellowhead Power Station through the facility’s fourth turbine. The unit is expected to be in service in December 2025.

SaskPower this year will also commission the Great Plains Power Station near Moose Jaw, begin operating the province’s first battery energy storage system near Regina, and add 200 MW of renewable energy capacity from the Bekevar Wind Energy Project near Kipling.

The $1.6 billion modernization plan also covers grid maintenance and upgrades, growth projects, smart meter deployments and more. The capital investment represents an increase of $433 million over 2023-24.

“This record investment is a sign of our government’s commitment to a growing economy and strong communities powered by reliable, sustainable electricity,” Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said. “Major projects such as the Aspen Power Station will also directly fuel economic growth in our province though the participation of local companies.”

All planned capital expenditures for 2024-25 include:

“The clean energy transition is the most significant change SaskPower has ever experienced, and investments are required to navigate it successfully,” said Rupen Pandya, SaskPower President and CEO. “As we look to the future, our investments will continue to be focused on strengthening our electricity system and moving to lower-carbon generation options.”

Last year, the Government of Canada returned some C$174 million ($128.8 million) of carbon pollution pricing proceeds through the Future Electricity Fund to advance a handful of clean electricity projects being undertaken by SaskPower.

The province of Saskatchewan used the money to implement new smart-meter technologies and support upgrades to electricity infrastructure through the Distribution Rural Rebuild and Improvement Program. Funding will also contribute to refurbishing the E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station.

The Smart Meter Deployment Project is intended to support electrical grid modernization and improve grid reliability and resilience by deploying smart meter technologies to residential homes across the province. Smart meters would provide ratepayers with greater access to energy consumption data to help modify behaviors and reduce overall energy consumption. Meters would provide SaskPower with real-time electricity consumption and power outage updates, thereby eliminating much of the need for physical travel and the associated greenhouse gases.

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