Friday, May 14, 2010

SaskPower pursuing 250 MW hydro project in Saskatchewan with First Nations & Brookfield

Below is an excerpt from a Government of Saskatchewan press release dated May 13, 2010:

SaskPower is working with three Saskatchewan First Nations to study the feasibility of developing a renewable energy project on the Saskatchewan River system.

The James Smith Cree Nation, Chakastaypasin Band of the Cree and the Peter Chapman Band - along with their development partners, Brookfield Renewable Power and Peter Kiewit Sons Co. - have reached an agreement with SaskPower to study the feasibility of developing a hydroelectric project that would provide approximately 250 megawatts (MW) of power to the provincial electrical grid. Known as the Pehonan Hydroelectric Project - a Cree word meaning ‘we're waiting by the creek' - the proposed location would be downstream from the forks where the South Saskatchewan River meets the North Saskatchewan River.

"Public-private partnerships provide many benefits to the people of Saskatchewan and our government is pleased with the potential of the Pehonan project," Minister responsible for SaskPower Bill Boyd said. "It allows First Nations like James Smith, Chakastaypasin and Peter Chapman to become active participants in Saskatchewan's growing economy, while leveraging the capital and expertise of development partners like Brookfield and Kiewit."

Under the terms of the agreement, new studies will take place to validate the results of previous site selection assessments. The studies will also determine the feasibility of the project from an environmental and economic perspective. This phase of the project could take up to four years.

Should the project prove to be an economical supply option, the First Nations-private developer partnership would develop the site, build the power plant and enter into a long-term power purchase agreement with SaskPower.

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