There is no single energy initiative that will replace the value of the power production plant.
Replacement generation of electricity through green technologies is significantly less labour intensive than coal-fired generation. Regional assets relevant to future green energy opportunities are currently few, but important. All of our assets favour district energy as opposed to provincial grid energy, except for a nuclear Small Modular Reactor (SMR). The switching station and adjacent reservoir make the Poplar River Power Station site ideally suited for 600MW of SMR capacity, in the form of two 300MW units for reliability.
The greatest opportunity is for district energy to supply cost-effective power and heat for agri-value and mining initiatives. Reducing energy costs will be a crucial competitive advantage to overcome supply chain disadvantages, especially given the state of our existing transportation assets (road & rail) and our distance to major markets.
Oil & Gas Wells
Historically, there hasn’t been much oil and gas activity here. Abandoned wells may be useful for geothermal energy sites, and logs from all wells will help pre-exploration analysis.
Our lignite deposits are well-known. While the use of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology would qualify as a green option in our study, federal climate policy makes any investment in coal-fired generation extremely risky. If permitting challenges can be overcome, coal is a viable feedstock for syngas and biopower energy. The U.S. Department of Energy is funding research into the use of coal for construction products. The Mining and Agri-Value sections discuss the potential for coal as a source of humic based fertilizer.
Transmission Switching Station
The switching station is configured for the 230kV, 600MW generation capacity from the Poplar River Power Station. Given the complexity and time involved in constructing transmission facilities, the switching station will be an important consideration should the province choose to use nuclear Small Modular Reactor generation. It could reduce grid interconnect costs for solar, wind, and biopower projects, and has potential as a grid battery site.
Wind & Solar
Excellent potential, especially for district energy. Two companies have already selected wind sites, should SaskPower approve them for Power Purchase Agreements. The competition for intermittent grid energy solar & wind contracts is intense, with limited opportunities after 2021 due to grid saturation with intermittent generation.
Gas Turbine Combined Cycle (GTCC)
With no major natural gas pipelines through our area, a grid-scale GTCC power plant is not an option.
Green Fuel & Energy Storage
Green fuel is gaining more attention, which, if translated into demand, will create opportunities. The best-known energy storage is battery.