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$1.6 billion is the capital spend for SaskPower in 2024-25

Provincial capital investment in SaskPower is up $433 million from 2023-24 and will focus on several projects across Saskatchewan.

REGINA - SaskPower has outlined its extensive plans for a $1.6 billion capital investment into the province’s electricity system in 2024-25. 

The investment marks an increase of $433 million over last year. “This significant investment is necessary to ensure SaskPower can continue to deliver the safe, reliable and affordable power that a growing province needs, all while reducing emissions,” said Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan at the announcement.

He said this year’s budget will see “generation capacity expanded, transmission and distribution systems strengthened, and key initiatives such as Smart Meter deployment continued.” Duncan said the projects will also support the local economy by “creating significant opportunities” for local workers.

According to their news release Tuesday, projects for this year include the following:

$508 million goes to  maintaining and upgrade transmission, distribution and generation assets, including their existing natural gas and hydroelectric generation fleets and rebuilding rural power lines.

$710 million on new generation including the Aspen Power Station Project near Lanigan that broke ground a few weeks ago, as well as the expansion of natural gas power stations at Ermine near Kerrobert and Yellowhead near North Battleford;

$311 million in growth projects, including connecting new customers to the grid;

$67 million in strategic investments to continue with projects like the Smart Meter deployment, and work on projects such as the new Regina Operations and Maintenance Complex.

SaskPower is also set to commission the Great Plains Power Station near Moose Jaw in 2024, and start operating the province’s first battery energy storage system near Regina. They are also adding 200 megawatts of renewable energy capacity from the Bekevar Wind Energy Project near Kipling.

“This budget is a sign of things to come,” said Duncan. “SaskPower is still in the early days of its transition to low carbon emission sources and ultimately to net zero emissions by 2050.”

“The world around us is changing and so is SaskPower,” said Rupen Pandya, SaskPower President and CEO. “The transition to cleaner sources of energy means we will replace generation options that we’ve relied on for decades. And at the same time our province’s power needs are growing. That will only accelerate as the province’s economy continues to grow, and more technology and processes switch from fossil fuels to electricity.”

The announcements were made at the new logistics warehouse facility at the Regina Operations Maintenance Complex which opened earlier this year. 

This warehouse houses all the equipment used to support the power infrastructure in the province; there is also a distribution dispatch office at the complex. Phase two is slated to open by 2026 and that will include their distribution control and some administrative functions. 

The whole project, estimated around $280 million, is meant to consolidate five SaskPower buildings in Regina currently at the end of their useful life. Pandya said this complex, once completed, will bring about 800 frontline employees together into one location and is touted as improving SaskPower’s logistics and storage capabilities. 

“It’s these efforts that will help us get ready for the future while also keeping the lights on today,” Pandya said.