Thursday, March 28, 2013

First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan and SaskPower launch innovative new program for renewable energy projects

On February 28, 2013 the First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) announced the signing of their new Master Agreement with the crown utility, SaskPower in Saskatchewan. The Master Agreement defines a process for establishing a number of independent power generation opportunities for First Nations in Saskatchewan with SaskPower.

FNPA is a not-for-profit entity with a mandate to facilitate the development of First Nations-led power generation projects with SaskPower created through a Memorandum of Understanding with SaskPower in 2011. Funding for the creation and development of FNPA was provided by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) in the amount of $1.39 million. The FNPA has recently launched its official call for members, inviting all First Nations and industry to participate.

Highlights of the Master Agreement include:

1. An initial 10 MW set aside from SaskPower for renewable energy projects;
2. additional future generation opportunities for FNPA members; and
3. a defined process for evaluating unsolicited First Nation power project proposals.

In addition to the Master Agreement, SaskPower and the FNPA are in discussion to explore additional projects and agreements that could result in further economic development opportunities for First Nations over the life of the agreement, such as the Meadow Lake Bioenergy Centre – a $150 million 36 MW biomass facility in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan which has secured a 25 year PPA from SaskPower.

FNPA and SaskPower have also signed a three-year Funding Agreement under which SaskPower will provide $100,000 per year to FNPA with the option to renew for another two years by mutual agreement.

The presentation will outline the development of this innovative organization and detail the opportunities for developers and suppliers under the terms of the Master Agreement.

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