In 2009 SaskPower will make its single largest investment in the provincial electrical system, spending more than $950 million to meet the growing demand for power in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The largest capital expenditures will be for new generation. Nearly $400 million – or more than 40 percent of the total capital spending – will be devoted to new generation projects, including the construction of simple cycle gas turbines in three locations.

“Significant investment by SaskPower is needed – not only in 2009, but for the next several years – to address SaskPower’s current infrastructure deficit, and ensure the electrical system can support Saskatchewan businesses in growing their operations,” Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said “This investment in infrastructure will also help attract new industry to our province.”

In addition to new generation, SaskPower will also be investing heavily in existing infrastructure, such as constructing transmission lines to meet new growth and connecting new customers to the system.

“Many of the corporation’s generation and transmission facilities were built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s,” said Pat Youzwa, SaskPower President and Chief Executive Officer. “At the same time, demand for service continues to grow. In fact, SaskPower set new records in 2008 when it came to new service connects and peak load, and we’re on course to break those records again in 2009,”.

Highlights in the 2009 capital investment program include:

  • Adding approximately 100 megawatts (MW) of natural gas-fired generation at the Ermine Switching Station near Kerrobert and 100 MW at the Queen Elizabeth Power Station in Saskatoon by the end of 2009. An additional 141 MW of natural gas-fired generation in the North Battleford area will also be added to the provincial grid by the end of 2010.
  • Construction of a 230-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from the Poplar River Power Station near Coronach to the Pasqua Switching Station east of Moose Jaw.
  • Overhaul of Boundary Dam Power Station Unit 2 and Queen Elizabeth Power Station Unit 2.
  • Completion of the Boundary Dam Spillway upgrade.
  • Expansion of the ash lagoon storage facility at Poplar River Power Station.
  • Spending more than $95 million connecting new electrical services to the SaskPower system, as well as upgrading existing customer services.