Annual Report Details Net Income of $146 Million
In 2017-18, SaskPower invested $996 million into the provincial power grid. The investment represents important projects to update the aging power grid in order to improve the reliability of the network, and continue to support economic growth in the province. While meeting a 5.4 per cent increase in power demand, SaskPower also kept on track to meet and exceed federal emission regulations by 2030.
“SaskPower continues to invest in our growing population and economy,” Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said. “We need reliable, cost-effective electricity to maintain our quality of life, to keep our industries competitive and to continue job growth in Saskatchewan. We also need environmentally sustainable power and that’s why SaskPower is leading the way to cut its emissions by 40 per cent from 2005 levels, by 2030. We continue to show that we can manage and reduce our environmental impact in an economically responsible way.”
“Every winter, we continue to see new peak power demand records being set,” SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh said. “The increase in energy use last year is the equivalent of adding 150,000 homes onto the grid. That’s why we will continue to invest approximately a billion dollars annually in updating and growing electrical infrastructure in the province.”
In 2017-18, SaskPower recorded a net income of $146 million, up from $56 million in 2016-17. This result was primarily due to lower natural gas prices, the significant increase in demand, and recent rate increases. This brings SaskPower’s debt ratio to 74.9 per cent, within the company’s target range.
While investing in infrastructure, SaskPower continued to optimise its internal costs. Since 2015, the corporation has saved $115 million in budgeted operation, maintenance and administration spending. SaskPower was also honoured once again this year with recognition as one of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers, Canada’s Top Diversity Employers and Canada’s Top Employers for Young People.
SaskPower’s 2017-18 annual report is available at www.saskpower.com/about-us/our-company/current-reports.
2017-18 investment highlights:
On time and on budget, construction is halfway complete on the Chinook Power Station, a 350 MW natural gas plant, near Swift Current;
Construction also continued on the $231 million, 200-kilometre transmission line from Swift Current to Moose Jaw;
The carbon capture and storage process at Boundary Dam Power Station surpassed two million tonnes of captured carbon dioxide since start-up, the equivalent of removing 500,000 vehicles from Saskatchewan roads;
We concluded the competitive process on Saskatchewan’s first 10 MW utility-scale solar project;
The request for proposals for up to 200 megawatts of new wind generation was completed, and an announcement is expected this fall;
The corporation invested $153 million to connect new customers to the grid;
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business awarded SaskPower with Progressive Aboriginal Relations Gold-level certification; and
SaskPower allocated $1.7 million in educational programming and community investment.
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After a thorough review, the Government of Saskatchewan has decided to accept the recommendation for a 3.5 per cent rate increase for SaskPower, compared to the original request of five per cent. The government thanks the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel for their work.
As planned, the increase will come into effect March 1. This represents an increase of approximately $4 on monthly residential power bills.
“Every year, SaskPower is keeping up with new records of power consumption, while working to keep power rates as low as possible,” Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said. “They face an important challenge to maintain and grow our power grid. With their revised fiscal forecasts during the rate review period, government agrees with the Rate Review Panel that SaskPower can meet this challenge in 2018 with a lower increase. We will continue to challenge SaskPower, and all government agencies, to do more with less, and without compromising service to Saskatchewan homes and businesses.”
In its rate application, SaskPower outlined the investment of the rate increase in major maintenance and growth projects to reduce the number and duration of power outages; modernize the power grid; meet the growing demand for more power; and help SaskPower reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 2005 levels, by 2030.
“It’s a balancing act that we take very seriously,” SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh said. “Electricity is vital in all our lives and for our economy. The power has to be on when and where we need it. SaskPower also has to be financially responsible with its operations. That’s why we’ve optimized our processes, reduced administrative costs and we plan to reduce this spending by an additional $142 million in the next three years using various restraint measures. This 3.5 per cent will allow us to continue investing in the grid and we will investigate additional ways to save money to compensate for this lower-than-planned increase.”
SaskPower will see a reduction in their proposed rate increase for the coming year. What was once planned to be a 5% increase for 2017, the rate increase has been lowered down to 3.5% for the year, effective January 1st, 2017. Heather Johnson, a…