Thursday, December 31, 2009

Attention: small and medium-sized generators in Saskatchewan

There is currently 25 megawatts set aside for non-wind electrical generation in Saskatchewan through a new program called the “Green Options Partners Program” which is still under development. More information is available here:

Further information will be available in early January 2010.

This will likely be a standing-offer program for generators - I suspect primarily PV and biogas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

RFQ Released

It appears that the RFQ has been officially released and SaskPower’s statement on their website states:

We're issuing a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to procure up to 175 megawatts (MW) of wind power from one or more Independent Power Producers. The RFQ will identify qualified bidders with the interest and capability in helping us meet the province's electrical supply needs. Qualified proponents will be invited to respond to a formal Request for Proposals in the spring.

The actual RFQ document is available here:

It will be an interesting race to see who makes the RFQ cut? Submissions are due February 19, 2009.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Saskatchewan's Energy Plan

Here is a link to an interview with the Premier of Saskatchewan:

Premier Wall alludes to the forthcoming Climate Change legislation in Saskatchewan (Bill 95) wherein a Technology Fund, similar to that in Alberta will be created to foster technology research into climate change and GHG emission reduction.

Premier Wall goes on to state: "If cap and trade goes to anything other than renewables or technology research, then it is not environmental policy but a tax."

Whether it is a tax or not is in my view not particularly relevant but the interesting aspect is the inclusion of "renewables" in the statement above. Under the proposed legislation, the Technology Fund in Saskatchewan will likely be used primarily to assist large regulated emitters undertake research to reduce emissions.

However, in the future, maybe the Technology Fund could be used by developers (other than the regulated emitters) to actually develop and build new renewable energy projects in the province?

Monday, December 7, 2009

SaskPower RFQ delayed?

The anticipated December 1, 2009 date for the release of the SaskPower RFQ for wind energy seems to have quietly passed. Has anyone heard anything from SaskPower in this regard?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Saskatchewan government re-introduces climate change legislation

Yesterday (December 1, 2009), the Saskatchewan government re-introduced Bill 95 into the legislature with some minor amendments.

Changes to the Act, which was introduced to the legislature last May, include:

1. Adding the authority to establish performance agreements with large emitters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions outside of regulated activities and with non-regulated emitters in the agriculture, transportation and commercial and residential building sectors.

The performance agreements will likely prove to be an efficient mechanism for large emitters to control and manage their emissions. Large emitters in the above industry sectors would be well advised to seek legal counsel now to start drafting a preliminary pro forma Performance Agreement based on the proposed legislation.

2. Providing for an Environmental Code to establish standards, guidelines and best practices for reducing emissions by large emitters and other sectors, which ensures the consistency of this Act with the province's results-based environmental regulatory framework.

To gain a competitive advantage, businesses in Saskatchewan would be well advised to seek legal counsel to start planning and drafting a compliance strategy for the proposed Environmental Code.

SaskPower RFQ

The SaskPower RFQ for wind generation scheduled to be released yesterday (December 1, 2009) seems to have been delayed.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SCC denies land owners leave to appeal

On October 22, 2009 the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) denied alberta land owners leave to appeal the approval of a merchant power line between Alberta and Montana.

In Roy Swanson Farms Ltd., et al. v. Alberta Energy and Utilities Board, et al. the SCC awarded costs to the developer of the merchant line, Montana Alberta Tie Ltd.

The 230-kilovolt private line will run from Lethbridge, Alberta to Great Falls, Montana and will be capable of moving 300 megawatts of power while allowing access to the power grid for almost $1 billion in renewable wind power projects in the USA.

This decision seems to indicate that so-called "merchant" or for-profit private electricity transmission lines can be constructed on land owners private property, without their consent, as is presently the case with other public electricity transmission lines.

SCC application for leave

The Alberta Court of Appeal Decision (Sincennes v. Alberta (Energy and Utilities Board), 2009 ABCA 167)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wind farm vs. Countryside view

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in favor of a zoning ordinance in Wabaunsee County that prohibits commercial wind farms.

This is one of the first cases in which the pursuit of wind energy conflicted with desires for unobstructed views of the countryside.

The ordinance, approved by the Wabaunsee Board of County Commissioners, states that the wind farms with towers 120 feet in height or more “would be incompatible with the rural, agricultural, and scenic character of the county.”

Several landowners, who had entered into contracts for wind farm development, sued the county commissioners, saying the prohibition was unreasonable.

But the Kansas Supreme Court agreed with a lower court finding that the county commissioners’ zoning decision was lawful. The lower court said the board took into consideration the wind farms’ impact upon the aesthetics of the county and the wishes of residents.

The landowners also contended they entered into wind leases prior to the 2004 adoption of the ban and that the county cannot pass a law that interferes with the enforcement of a contract. But the court said land use is heavily regulated and that changes in the law may alter contractual obligations.

The state Supreme Court, however, left open several other issues for further arguments. Those include whether the zoning ordinance represents a “taking” of property rights without just compensation and whether it violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A second round of oral arguments is scheduled for January 27, 2010.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SaskPower RFQ

SaskPower has confirmed plans to issue a formal Request for Qualifications (RFQ) on December 1, 2009 to identify qualified bidders for the upcoming solicitation for up to 175 megawatts of wind power in Saskatchewan.

Friday, October 30, 2009

With the standing offer from SaskPower under the Green Options Partners Program announced yesterday there has been some speculation that a PV project might make up the 25 mW set aside for non-wind.

Saskatchewan has a reputation for harsh winters but those frigid days are almost always accompanied with crystal clear conditions making it a PV hotspot - particularly the city of Regina, which has a higher PV potential of any city in Canada and ranks very well internationally.

Yearly PV potential (kWh/kW) for South-facing PV panels with latitude tilt for major cities in the world:

Cairo, Egypt 1635
Capetown, South Africa 1538
New Delhi, India 1523
Los Angeles, U.S.A 1485
Mexico City, Mexico 1425
Regina, Saskatchewan 1361
Sydney, Australia 1343
Rome, Italy 1283
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1253
Ottawa, Canada 1198
Beijing, China 1148
Washington, D.C. 1133
Paris, France 938
St. John's, NL 933
Tokyo, Japan 885
Berlin, Germany 848
Moscow, Russia 803
London, England 728

SaskPower boosts wind power production in Saskatchewan

Big news from the provincial government and SaskPower!

SaskPower boosts wind power production in Saskatchewan

SaskPower is launching two new programs that will enable the corporation to more than double wind power production in the province. The Green Options Plan and the Green Options Partners Program will add another 200 megawatts (MW) of wind power to SaskPower’s generation capacity.

“As our government announced in the Throne Speech on October 21, we are making a significant commitment to increased wind power in Saskatchewan,” said Bill Boyd, Minister responsible for SaskPower. “These programs will enable SaskPower to continue to lead in the production of clean renewable energy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help ensure Saskatchewan has a sustainable supply of electricity for many years to come.”

Under the Green Options Plan, SaskPower will undertake a competitive process to procure up to 175 MW of wind power from one or more Independent Power Producers.

The Green Options Partners Program, meanwhile, will see SaskPower introduce a standing offer program to purchase up to 50 MW of renewable power from private sector developers, with up to 25 MW of the total coming from wind power. The remainder will be generated through proven clean technologies, such as biomass, heat recovery or low impact hydro generation.


The RFQ is expected to be released on December 1, 2009.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Climate change gathering in Saskatoon

A crowd of about 150 people gathered Saturday October 26, 2009 in Kinsmen Park to demand government action on climate change.

The Saskatoon event was part of the Global Day of Climate Action that saw groups around the world hold demonstrations, with more than 4,000 events registered in about 170 countries.

It is anticipated the provincial government and SaskPower will announce an RFP for renewable energy by the end of 2009 in order to meet climate change objectives.