It’s been hailed as the future of environmentally-friendly power, but SaskPower is unlikely to move forward with any future carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects.
The Crown corporation confirmed Friday the projects are too expensive in the current economic climate, and instead might consider natural gas as a low-cost alternative.
In 2014, SaskPower’s Boundary Dam power plant in Estevan became the world’s first on a commercial scale to take the emissions from coal and store it.
But it is not a cheap green option. It would cost $1.5 billion for SaskPower to move forward with this technology, and the operating expenses were higher than first anticipated.
While SaskPower fitted other units at Boundary Dam with natural gas turbines, it must still make a decision about units four and five.
In a written statement SaskPower President Mike Marsh insisted no final decision has been made.
“Other socioeconomic factors such as oil royalties, taxes, etc. would need to be factored into any final recommendation that government would ultimately consider. To rule out a possible CCS recommendation at this point is premature,” Marsh wrote. “SaskPower continues to evaluate the feasibility of expanding carbon capture at Boundary Dam. It is important that the company complete its due diligence and considers all factors before making a recommendation to its Board of Directors and ultimately to the government”.
A decision will likely be made in 2018, after a new premier has been elected.