SaskPower announced it has awarded its next utility-scale wind facility to Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Canada and Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development, a wholly owned Cowessess First Nation entity.

Set to be constructed north of Moose Mountain Provincial Park in the RM of Hazelwood, the RM of Kingsley and on Cowessess First Nation reserve land, the Bekevar Wind Energy Project will supply 200 megawatts (MW) of zero-emissions power, enough to serve up to 100,000 homes.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 is a priority for SaskPower,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower President and CEO. “Incorporating wind power through projects such as Bekevar is a crucial component of our strategy to make significant reductions to emissions while ensuring SaskPower can supply reliable, sustainable, and affordable power to our customers.”

SaskPower selected RES and Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development’s project as part of an open competition. Evaluation of the proposals included best-value criteria such as, energy price, environmental site characteristics, Indigenous participation and community engagement plans. Electricity generated at Bekevar will be purchased by SaskPower at an industry leading rate over the 25-year term of the agreement and sets a new low benchmark price for renewable energy in Saskatchewan.

Construction on the project will begin in the summer of 2022, and the facility is expected to be complete by the end of 2023.

Saskatchewan currently has six wind facilities producing a total of 241 MW to the provincial grid. In addition to Bekevar, three wind projects are currently under construction totaling 385 MW: Riverhurst Wind Project (10 MW), Blue Hill near Herbert (175 MW), and Golden South near Assiniboia (200 MW).

“Saskatchewan is an ideal place to build some of the most cost-effective wind power in the world. With many world-class renewables companies qualified to bid, the tender was highly competitive and RES and its partner, Cowessess First Nation, strove to deliver best value to SaskPower,” said Peter Clibbon, RES Senior VP of Development. “We are committed to delivering a quality project on schedule and deliver significant economic benefits to the host communities.”

“Cowessess First Nation has been pursuing utility scale wind energy development since the incorporation of ANEDC in 2010. This is the third Request for Proposal in nine years Cowessess has bid into SaskPower with our partners. To be awarded the Bekevar project in collaboration with RES is a milestone for our First Nation, which helps continue to lead Indigenous renewable energy development in Saskatchewan,” added Chief Cadmus Delorme. “We look forward to utilizing what Mother Earth has granted us with, while working with RES to help Saskatchewan achieve the desired carbon reduction targets.”

Feature image: Courtesy of RES Canada

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