SaskPower said it plans to add two new natural gas turbines to its generation fleet.

One simple cycle gas turbine is planned for its Ermine Power Station, located near Kerrobert, which is around 180 kilometers west of Saskatoon. Another is planned for the Yellowhead Power Station, near North Battleford, which is around 135 km northwest of Saskatoon. Each turbine is expected to be rated at 46 MW. 

The utility said that 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. The new capacity is expected to support intermittent renewable generation options such as wind and solar.

SaskPower said it shortlisted Burns & McDonnell and Graham – Black & Veatch as potential build partners. The competitive selection process is expected to be complete in late September. The new turbines at Ermine and Yellowhead are slated to enter service by late 2024 and late 2025, respectively.

Ermine entered service in 2009 and is rated at 90 MW. Yellowhead entered service in 2010 and uses three simple cycle gas turbines that may be operated remotely. The 135 MW plant is designed to provide reactive power flow as needed.

The utility called natural gas generation “an important part of a staged approach” while moving  toward non-emitting options and replacing capacity from coal facilities that must be retired by 2030. 

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