Wednesday, March 30, 2011

First Nations Power Authority & SaskPower sign MOU on power generation in Saskatchewan

The Government of Saskatchewan, SaskPower (the Crown utility) and the newly established First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) announced yesterday that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will help the province’s First Nations advance their power generation projects.

The MOU sets out a partnership framework for a more streamlined process to help First Nations move their projects forward for consideration.

The provincial government was looking for opportunities to engage First Nations in developing power generation projects, which led to the formation of the First Nations Power Authority. Supported by various First Nations with existing or imminent power projects, the FNPA will be a non-profit, membership-based corporation. It is expected the FNPA will provide the framework for the first utility-scale community projects in the province.

Each of the 74 Saskatchewan First Nations will have the opportunity to hold membership in the First Nations Power Authority and participate in the governance of the organization through its board of directors.

“This MOU opens the door to significant opportunities for Saskatchewan First Nations to partner in the development of power generation projects,” FNPA Board Chair Ben Voss said. “This will result in a higher probability of viable, long-term sustainable First Nation economic development opportunities while helping SaskPower meet the province’s electricity supply needs.”

SaskPower is making a multi-year, multi-billion dollar investment to renew the province’s electricity system. The demand for electricity in the province is expected to increase by about 2.4 per cent annually over the next decade.

This is another clear indication that SaskPower does not intend on owning and operating all generation in the province in the future and continues to provide opportunities for independent power producers.

I expect that the signing of this MOU will further escalate activities of developers in the province in forming partnerships with First Nations for specific projects.

Additional information about the FNPA:

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