SaskPower Buys Land for Potential Electrical Plant

co-gen plantA picture of a SaskPower facility in North Battleford, similar to one being proposed by the Crown Utility, was presented to council at Monday’s meeting

Swift Current is another step toward potentially being the home of a future SaskPower generating facility.

Council approved an 18-month option for the Crown Utility to purchase city-owned land near the west landfill, that could host a combined-cycle gas turbine facility that would be built to meet an expected growing demand for electricity in the province.

Swift Current is one of two shortlisted sites for the facility, with the other located at Lanigan, and construction could begin within two years if SaskPower decides to go ahead.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be a business decision for SaskPower to make, but we want to do everything in our power to make the best case for that plant to come here,” said Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer. “I think it’s exciting for our residents that land has been acquired, and we’ll see where we continue to go over the next couple of years.

“In terms of the overall economic benefits, I think then numbers are obvious and pretty staggering,” he added. “I’ve heard anywhere between three-quarters of a billion to $800 million dollars in total construction costs, and up to 300 temporary workers for a two to three year period to construct a facility like that, and afterwards, a significant number of high-quality, high-paying jobs from SaskPower to operate the facility. As I’ve often said, one of the tough things that we face in our little corner of the province is that we haven’t had the oil and gas development in the Bakken that they have in the southeast, Yorkton has been fortunate with a canola crushing plant, and the Battlefords have one of these facilities… We haven’t had potash or uranium or things like that, so this is a big deal for our community and our region.”

Schafer adds that type of generation facility requires a significant water supply, and the city could have an advantage with recently upgraded water infrastructure.

“The fact that we have not only the ability to provide them water through our waste water treatment plant, but also through the expansion of our water treatment plant, I think, is hopefully advantageous for us in our community,” he said.

The agreement has a 15% consideration of the purchase price for SaskPower’s option. Should SaskPower exercise their option, the balance of the property price will be payable to the City, but should they not exercise the option, the funds will belong to the city.

SaskPower will hold an open house on the proposed project today starting at 12:00 noon from the Credit Union iplex.

via Local News

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