As SaskPower tries to find more ways to gather renewable power, it’s looking to its customers. The Crown Corporation is introducing a program which will allow customers to sell more power back to the company.
It’s called the Power Generation Partner Program (PGPP). It replaces two previous programs SaskPower had been using and essentially increases the cap on how much power the Crown Corporation will buy.
It’s meant for power production through renewable resources like wind farms and resource producers which flare gas.
Dustin Duncan is the Minister responsible for SaskPower. He said one of the big benefits for this is the renewable power, which will help achieve the company’s goal of having half of its power generation be from renewables by 2030.
He said there’s a benefit on the industry side as well.
“To help industry reduce their emissions and find a better use for the associated gases that they’re producing with their – in most cases – oil production, rather than just flaring or venting those emissions.”
The program is estimated to cost SaskPower about $840M over the 20-year life of the contracts.
He said the cost is one of the reasons that, while the new program raises the caps on power generation, there are still caps in place.
“SaskPower can’t just have it wide open and be in an unmanageable position where there’s more electricity coming on than the rates can bear because obviously there is an impact in buying this type of energy.”
According to SaskPower, the cost has already been factored into its business plan, so the program shouldn’t directly affect customers’ power rates.
According to Duncan, the program was developed through significant consultation with industry and it’s expected to be seen less as a revenue generator and more as a solution to the problem of emissions.
“We believe the PGPP program will enhance the competitiveness of Saskatchewan projects by enabling new revenue streams while also reducing GHG emissions and ensuring we are making the most of our valuable resources in Saskatchewan,” Crescent Point President and CEO Craig Bryksa said in a news release.
Between 70 and 105 megawatts of power are expected to be added to the grid through the PGPP – to put it into context, some of the province’s power plants generate about 150 MW.
The PGPP is meant for set-ups which would produce larger amounts of power. Individuals producing less power will continue to be able to sell it back to SaskPower for a credit on their bill through the Net Metering program, which is currently undergoing a review, and an update is expected to be announced later this year.
A previous story quoted Minister Duncan as saying the cost of the program would be managed through rates. That has been clarified by the provincial government.