Main page content

SaskPower

SaskPower  logo
  • Endorsement date: December 18, 2020
  • Organization: SaskPower

Overview

SaskPower

SaskPower is Saskatchewan’s leading energy provider. We are defined by our commitment to support economic growth and enhance quality of life in our province. Our corporate mission: ensuring reliable, sustainable and cost-effective power for our customers and the communities we serve.  SaskPower has achieved the Sustainable Electricity Company designation from the Canadian Electricity Association, which recognizes SaskPower’s commitment and work surrounding social responsibility and sustainable development.

SaskPower’s team of almost 3,200 permanent full-time employees manage over $12 billion in generation, transmission, distribution, and other assets. SaskPower operates more than 4,100 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation facilities from coal, natural gas, hydro, wind and solar. SaskPower also purchases electricity from independent power producers which brings our total available generation capacity to nearly 5,000 MW.

SaskPower’s Clean Energy Transition
By 2030, federal regulations will require the retirement of more than 1,400 MW of conventional coal generation in Saskatchewan.  To address this substantial loss of reliable baseload generation, SaskPower plans to add 1,118 MW of natural gas generation, 685 MW of wind generation, 190 MW of hydro imports and 183 MW of solar, geothermal and other between 2021 and 2029. This adjustment to SaskPower’s electricity generation mix will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% from 2005 levels by 2030. However, it will also result in natural gas generation making up almost 60% of SaskPower’s electrical generation capacity in by 2030 which will make further reductions in GHG emissions from power generation difficult until the mid 2040s.

At the same time, SaskPower anticipates 1) an increase in demand for zero emissions electricity to support the electrification of transportation and other key sectors; and 2) increasingly stringent regulations that will require further reductions in CO2 emissions from power generation after 2030. In response, SaskPower is re-evaluating its long-term electricity supply strategy with a view to limiting the deployment of new natural gas generation in the 2025 - 2040 timeframe. SaskPower is evaluating several potential low emissions pathways including expanded electricity imports, expanded application of carbon capture and storage technology and the deployment of up to 1,200 MW of nuclear power from SMRs in the 2032-2042 timeframe.

The net impact of a pivot from Saskatchewan’s current dependence of coal and natural gas for electricity to a future combination of increased wind and solar generation, cleaner electricity imports and nuclear power from SMRs in Saskatchewan is that SaskPower could achieve emission reductions from electricity generation of as much at least 70% below 2005 levels by 2040 and zero emissions by 2050 or sooner. This deployment strategy also supports the pan-Canadian, fleet-based deployment of SMRs and avoids the emission of at least 73 million tonnes of CO2 between 2027 and 2050.

In addition, the combination of expanded electricity imports and the addition of reliable, zero emissions power from SMRs could facilitate a much deeper penetration of intermittent generation from wind and solar in Saskatchewan.

SMR Evaluation
SaskPower is evaluating the economic and technical feasibility of deploying 300 MW of nuclear power from SMRs by 2032 following the successful deployment of the same SMR design by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) at its Darlington Nuclear Power Station in 2028. SaskPower is also evaluating the potential deployment of an additional 900 MW of generating capacity from SMRs between 2035 and 2042.

Support for SMR Action Plan Principles
SaskPower’s ongoing evaluation of SMR technology in collaboration with our utility partners at OPG, Bruce Power and New Brunswick Power is strongly aligned to our company’s Corporate Mission and the principles of Canada’s SMR Action Plan. 

ACTIONS

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
SMR Demonstration Projects
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
SK01

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 40

ACTION

SaskPower has completed its SMR feasibility work and plans to bring forward a recommendation to proceed with the planning phase of Saskatchewan’s first SMR project in 2021. If the recommendation is accepted by SaskPower’s Board of Directors and the Government of Saskatchewan, the first phase of planning work will include:

  • SMR site and technology selection;
  • Preparation, submission and approval of a License to Prepare a Site from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC);
  • Preparation of a Licence to Construct an SMR from the CNSC;
  • Development, submissions and approval of a federal impact Assessment; and
  • Extensive Indigenous, stakeholder and public engagement.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The first phase of SMR project planning is expected to take approximately five years and will result in the selection of a site and SMR technology, an approved Licence to Prepare a Site for a Nuclear Power Plant and a fully developed application for a Licence to Construct ready to submit to the CNSC by the end of 2025-26.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Strategic Partnerships and Business Models
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
SK02

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 41

ACTION

Since 2018, SaskPower has actively partnered with other interested utilities to advance SMR development in Canada including:

  • In 2019, the CEOs of OPG, Bruce Power, SaskPower and New Brunswick Power established the CEO SMR Forum to direct and coordinate work on pathways to deployment of SMRs in Canada.
  • In 2019 and 2020, SaskPower collaborated with Bruce Power, New Brunswick Power and OPG to support the development of an SMR Feasibility Report for presentation to the Governments of Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick. The SMR Feasibility Report is one of the key actions identified in the MOU on SMR Development signed by the Premiers of the three Provinces in December 2019.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The CEO SMR forum will support a collaborative approach by the utility partners in advancing SMR development and demonstration in Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.

The SMR Feasibility Report will support decisions by the Governments of all three provinces regarding next steps in collaborative SMR development efforts.

DEMONSTRATION AND DEPLOYMENT
Fleet Deployment Pathways
STATUS: IN PROGRESS
SK03

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 42

ACTION

In 2020, SaskPower joined OPG and Bruce Power in signing an SMR Collaboration Agreement.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The SaskPower/OPG/Bruce Power SMR Collaboration Agreement supports industry collaboration in evaluating potential SMR technologies for fleet-based SMR deployment in Ontario and Saskatchewan. The Collaboration Agreement also supports a joint evaluation of potential business models that are best suited to fleet-based deployment of SMRs in Canada.

Fleet deployment is essential in ensuring SMRs are economic. Fleet deployment ensures that the risks and benefits are shared between the partners. The end consumer realizes a reduced risk in capital cost, schedule, fuel risk, waste management and reliability while obtaining the benefits of a zero carbon, bae load generation source.

Fleet-based approach leverages the experience of previous builds resulting in reduced regulatory timelines and uncertainty which in turn should lead to shorter construction timelines, faster deployment schedules and reduced construction costs.

CAPACITY, ENGAGEMENT, AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
Indigenous Engagement
STATUS: COMPLETE
SK04

Responds to SMR Roadmap recommendation(s): 43

ACTION

In the spirit of reconciliation, SaskPower and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) partnered with First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) to develop a report that identifies and recommends best practices for proper and effective First Nations consultation and engagement in a conversation about the future of electricity in Saskatchewan giving primary consideration to the expectations and requirements of First Nations leaders, rights holders, organizations and communities.

EXPECTED RESULTS

The Report, titled Best Practices for First Nations’ Engagement and Consultation in the Planning and Development of a Clean Energy Future in Saskatchewan, was completed in April, 2019 and sets out a clear roadmap for respectful, effective and ongoing engagement and consultation with First Nations communities in Saskatchewan with respect to the Province's future electricity system and the transition to a clean energy future.