Did you know that Saskatchewan has the highest solar potential of all the Canadian provinces? As a result, Canada's prairie province is well-positioned to be a key player in our nation's renewable energy future.
Hydroelectricity is currently the province's largest renewable power source, coming from eight different hydro facilities and accounting for 17% of electricity generation. And SK's renewable energy infrastructure is only set to grow, with plans of adding a cumulative 400 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, new projects like Highfield Solar - a 10 MW facility which can power 2,500 homes - provide a glimpse into the potential of utility-scale solar farms in Saskatchewan.
Though Saskatchewan has been widely well-known for its oil, mining and agricultural resources, the province is set to play an integral role in transforming our energy systems by utilizing its geography to harness renewable energy sources.
Here are some facts about the present state of renewables in Saskatchewan and where they are headed. Also see:
- Renewable Energy in Canada: 33+ Facts
- How Fossil Fuels Make Renewable Energy Possible
- Renewable Energy in British Columbia: 15 Facts
- Renewable Energy in Quebec: 15 Facts
- Renewable Energy in Ontario: 15 Facts
19 Facts about Renewables in Saskatchewan
#1 - Renewables make up for 25% of Saskatchewan's electricity generation (9)
#2 - Hydro is Saskatchewan's largest source of renewable energy, accounting for 17% of the province's electricity generation (1)(9)
#3 - In 2018, eight hydro facilities in the province generated 3,591 gigawatt-hours (GW.h) of electricity. (1)
#4 - Hydroelectricity makes up for 889 MW of the electric capacity (5)
#5 - Wind contributed 386 GW.h towards electricity generation in 2018 (1)
#6 - Between 2010 and 2017, Saskatchewan added a net 113 MW of energy capacity through renewables, primarily in the form of wind (1)
#7 - Between 2017 and 2023, a projected 587 MW of renewable energy capacity will be added to the province's electric grid (1)
#8 - The Golden South Wind project, which became operational in 2022, contributes 200 MW of electric capacity (4)
#9 - The Blue Hill Wind Project generates 175 MW of electrical capacity (5)
#10 - The 200 MW Bekevar Wind Energy Project is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 (6)
#11 - 200 MW Spring Lake Wind Project is set to be operational in 2027 (7)
#12 - Provincial targets of new solar, wind, and biomass add up to 75MW, 200MW, and 125 MW, respectively, by the end of 2023 (1)
#13 - The 10 MW Highfield Solar Project is Saskatchewan's first utility-grade solar operation that began operation in 2021 and can power an estimated 2,500 homes (5)
#14 - The 10 MW Foxtail Grove Solar Energy Facility is expected to be operational in 2023 (5)
#15 - SaskPower and the First Nations Power Authority have come to a power purchase agreement for two 10 MW solar projects that became operational in 2022 (5)
#16 - SaskPower and Manitoba Hydro recently completed a new 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line known as The Birtle Transmission Project that will increase interprovincial transfers of renewable electricity from Manitoba to Saskatchewan (5)
#17 - Saskatchewan has the highest solar photovoltaic (PV) potential of all the Canadian provinces, meaning its municipalities get more sunlight than other provinces (2)
#18 - DEEP has geothermal rights to approximately 100,000 acres, with the potential for an approximate 200 MW of geothermal power that could offset 780 thousand tonnes per year of CO2 -- equivalent to taking 170,000 cars off the road annually (3)
#19 - Saskatchewan received a cumulative $3 billion of subsidies for alternative/renewable sectors through 2010 to 2017, with half of that going into emission control initiatives (8)
Saskatchewan's Renewable Energy Future
Saskatchewan has a bright renewable energy future ahead. Three new 10 MW solar farms will be operational by the end of 2023, harnessing the most abundant solar potential of all provinces in Canada, with more projects to come.
Another great example of the future of renewable energy in Saskatchewan is geothermal initiatives. With the geothermal rights to over 100 thousand acres, DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp is well positioned to drive the future of both Saskatchewan's and Canada's net-zero goals. DEEP's project has the potential for approximately 200 MW of electricity generation from geothermal which will induce emissions savings equivalent to taking 170,000 cars off the road annually.
Furthermore, with plans to add 400 MW of renewable power to the grid by the end of 2023, Saskatchewan's renewable sector is beginning to take off in a big way. The recent completion of the Birtle Transmission Project will increase the transmission of renewable power interprovincially from Manitoba to Saskatchewan, inducing further emissions reductions from SK's neighbour's >99% renewable grid.
Renewables have begun to establish their long-lasting impact in the province of Saskatchewan. There is much to look forward to regarding investment in new projects, new jobs, and a cleaner electricity future for Canadians.
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— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) June 1, 2023
SOURCES (accessed June 2023):
- Canada Energy Regulator. (2021). Renewable Power Capacity in Canada: Saskatchewan [Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/energy-commodities/electricity/report/canadas-renewable-power/provinces/renewable-power-canada-saskatchewan.html
- Canada Energy Regulator. (2018). Market Snapshot: Which Cities Have the Highest Solar Potential in Canada? [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/energy-markets/market-snapshots/2018/m-snapshot-which-cities-have-highest-solar-potential-in-canada.html
- DEEP (2021). Home [Website]. Retrieved from https://deepcorp.ca/
- Golden South Wind Energy. (2021). Home [Website]. Retrieved from https://goldensouthwind.com/
- Canada Energy Regulator. (2020). Saskatchewan Energy Profile 2020 Update [Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/energy-markets/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles-saskatchewan.html
- SaskPower (2021). Bekevar Wind Energy Project to Generate 200 MW of Clean Renewable Energy in SE Saskatchewan [Press Release]. Retrieved from https.saskpower.com/about-us/media-information/news-releases/2021/bekevar-wind-energy-project-to-generate-200w-of-clean-renewable-energy-in-se-saskatchewan
- EDF Renewables. (2021). Spring Lake Wind [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.edf-re.com/project/spring-lake-wind/
- Clean Energy Canada. (2019). The Clean Energy Economy: An Overview of Key Trends in. Retrieved from https://cleanenerycanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-03-13-Clean-Energy-Economy-FINAL-REPORT.pdf
- SaskPower (2021). Renewable Power Update Fall 2021 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://www.saskpower.com/about-us/Our-Company/Blog/2021/Renewable-Power-Update-Fall-2021
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