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Swift Current Selected as New Power Plant Site

Written by Shanna Empey on Friday, 12 June 2015

President and CEO of SaskPower, Mike Marsh makes announcement at Swift Current Council Chambers

Today, Premier Brad Wall, Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer, and SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh announced that the southwest will become home to a new combined cycle natural gas plant set to begin operation in 2019.

After an extensive site selection process that began in 2012, a 158-acre site has been selected just north of Swift Current as part of the RM. The 350-megawatt facility will create 400 to 500 jobs during construction and 25 permanent jobs once the plant is built.

SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh says Swift Current was the best technical choice for this gas facility.

“Swift Current has great access to the existing transmission line, the major line running east to west into Alberta runs right through Swift Current, we have a major gas transmission line here which is very good. As the Premier indicated, we’ve also had lots of growth in the west and the southwest part of the province. Lots of oil and gas here that wasn’t there a few years ago, but the demand has really increased for electricity consumption. If you put that together with a supply source located close to the demand for energy and you have a good combination,” he explained. “Another great thing is a natural gas facility allows us to add more wind into the system. By having a flexible option, we can actually add additional wind capacity beyond what we might otherwise have done. We’re looking at adding another approximately 400 megawatts of wind into the SaskPower grid by 2023 or 2024, and this facility will help us do that.”

Combined cycle natural gas is a technology with a short lead time, relatively low cost compared to other options, and is highly efficient with fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure it’s the cleanest possible base-load energy that we can have and combined cycle natural gas is relatively clean for fossil fuel options,” added Premier Brad Wall. “I think this is very good news for Swift Current and area. This is a major project. The last one that was built like it was in North Battleford and that was just under 700 million, this will be more than that, but we don’t actually want to give an estimate because it’s a competitive process and we want to see where the numbers come in, but it’s significantly more than that. That’s a massive investment into Swift Current and area.”

Mayor Jerrod Schafer added that as a community looking to continue progression towards 25,000 residents by 2025, this is welcome news.

“It’s nice to keep momentum going. In the last ten years we’ve had a half a billion dollars in construction – numbers that we’ve never seen before, the population has grown for the first time in 60 years, so a project like this is just going to continue to help us in that and keep things rolling.”

The next phase is to get a request for proposal out on the market for independent power producers to bid. Bids are expected to close around early 2016.

via Local News

Swift Current Selected as New Power Plant Site Economic Development SouthWest Saskatchewan  SaskPower

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