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The power industry is changing like never before. Advancements and new technologies emerge every day — impacting how our power system will look in the future. If it seems like a lot to keep up with, it is!

We’re looking into these technologies to see if they’re the right fit for our province.

Ask us a question below, we'd love to hear from you!

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    I have been sending this message to Saskpower since spring 2023. I keep getting replies that my concerns are forwarded to the department involved, but never receive a reply from 'that department'. Earlier this year; SaskPower spent time and money to reformat their bills but blatantly missed two errors and is spreading misinformation by labelling carbon pricing as a federal tax on their bills to customers. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the carbon pricing is not a tax! https://www.scc-csc.ca/case-dossier/cb/2021/38663-38781-39116-eng.aspx Also, the Saskpower bill refers to it as a Federal Carbon Tax; however 'as of the 2023-2030 carbon tax revenue we collect will be paid to the provincial government; effective January 1; 2023.' https://www.saskpower.com/Accounts/Power-Rates/Federal-Carbon-Tax#:~:tex t=How%20much%20will%20this%20cost;depending%20on%20your%20power%20use. Be honest and transparent with your customers! Fix these errors and false statements! It is important that Saskpower does not get caught up in political manipulation and that SaskPower shows a commitment to meet Canada's emission reduction targets and Clean Electricity Regulations! We are all in this together!

    n Wright asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for raising your concerns about how SaskPower’s monthly bills and online content name the carbon charge that was introduced by the federal government in 2019.

    The reason we use the terminology “carbon tax” on the bill is that this is the most commonly used informal term for the federal carbon charge, including in news media. Using “carbon tax” on the bills helps to ensure customers clearly understand what the charge represents, compared to a more obscure technical term. 

    Based on federal regulation, the Province is required to collect the carbon tax. If the Province’s carbon tax system falls below the legislated minimum as set by the Federal government, the carbon tax reverts to the previous system where funds are remitted to the Federal government. Since, if there was no Federal carbon tax legislation, the Provincial government would not be collecting it, the charge is still referred to as a Federal Carbon Tax.

    We understand your concerns with the wording as currently used and will take them under consideration in the future.

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    For net metering (the home solar generation program) would you consider reimplementing paying the 14 cents/ KWh for excess power generation? We got in on that pricing just before it was cut, and even then it will take a good 8 years to pay off the system. By cutting that back to 7.5 cents for KWh it makes it very expensive to go solar. Presently solar is only 2% of our mix despite being the “sunshine capital” of Canada. I would love to see a more diverse mix of energy generation in Saskatchewan. Thanks for asking for our input!

    Wayne Schlapkohl asked 2 months ago

    Thanks for your question and for sharing your thoughts! We’re not considering increasing the price we pay for excess power generated through net metering at this time. However, we will be seeking public input in 2024 to help inform our customer generation plan. Our goal is to offer more options when it comes to purchasing, generating, storing and managing your electricity consumption. We’ll want to hear your input on where to start, what elements to prioritize, and how best to make sure the solutions we develop provide value to all customers. To get involved in this process, we encourage to sign up for our Customer Generation newsletter for upcoming opportunities. Sign up here: Newsletters (saskpower.com)

    Saskatchewan does have tremendous solar potential, but the profile for solar doesn’t align with how Saskatchewan customers use electricity. Unlike most American utilities and many in Canada, Saskatchewan is a winter peaking utility. That means that demand for electricity is greatest in the winter between 6-9 p.m. and SaskPower must serve that demand in real time. During that period of peak demand, the sun has set, and customers aren’t able to rely on any solar generating systems for power. For net metering customers (and everyone else), that means relying on other sources of power generation like natural gas or coal. 

    Achieving our GHG emissions targets doesn’t depend on net metering because there are more cost-effective and efficient technologies to reduce emissions – such as utility-scale renewables. On that note – we’re in the competitive process to build 400 MW of wind power and 200 MW of solar power. That’s on top of a competition that recently closed for a 100-MW solar facility near Estevan, which will be the largest solar facility in Saskatchewan to date. In comparison, we currently have 83 MW of solar generating capacity, so we’re more than tripling our solar capacity by 2028.

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    Where do you think we can import electricity from

    Lee asked 3 months ago

    SaskPower currently has interconnections with Manitoba, Alberta, and the Southwest Power Pool (North Dakota), which manages the power grid and wholesale power market for the central United States. Currently, SaskPower is planning to build two new transmission lines to create an International Power Line that will connect from the Tableland Switching Station near Estevan to the United States. The new lines will help provide transmission capability for up to an additional 650 MWs with the Southwest Power Pool under a joint 20-year transmission contract starting in 2027.

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    I attended the Future Power Supply 3 sessions and had two questions I did not get an answer to. I was wondering if you could get me an answer. At Cop28 this week, 51 Trillion dollars in new Nuclear Power Plant plans were announced. How does this impact the scenarios discussed (since cost and delivery time will significantly increase now)? Secondly, France has shown that once you start a nuclear program, you need to continue to build more plants about every five years to maintain your expertise and replace old plants. What is the Saskatchewan plan to build more plants in decades to come (since we will not have capacity to use much more power and significant cost)(Life cycle plan)?

    mcgut1 asked 3 months ago

    Thank you for the question. Our current Small Modular Reactor (SMR) development project is focused on the first nuclear facility, but as part of our future supply planning, we are evaluating what role nuclear power could play in powering Saskatchewan beyond that first facility. 

    SaskPower is in a multi-year planning and development phase that would inform a decision in 2029 to construct our first SMR. Before any decision to build an SMR can be made, there is significant planning and regulatory work that needs to happen, including a comprehensive Impact Assessment, obtaining the required licences to build and operate a nuclear facility, and significant engagement and consultation with Indigenous peoples, municipalities, organizations, stakeholders, and the public.

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    How many forms of nuclear power are available and could they be considered 100% reliable and safe?

    Rojon asked 3 months ago

    The International Atomic Energy Agency identifies five types of nuclear power reactors, including:

    • water cooled reactors – the CANDU reactor is used in Canada, which is a pressurized heavy water reactor;
    • gas cooled reactors;
    • fast reactors;
    • molten salt reactors; and
    • small modular reactors.

    For more information, visit: Nuclear power reactors, reactor types and technologies | IAEA

    In Canada, the federal government regulates the Canadian nuclear industry through the globally respected Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), including the safe and secure construction, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear power plants.

    Canada’s nuclear industry has an impeccable safety track record, built on more than 70 years of expertise and innovation with safety and environmental protection at its core. Nuclear plants have many layers of protection, utilizing multiple systems to ensure safe operation.

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    With Regards to the planning for introduction of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, SMNR's, in Saskatchewan. I note that in your planning you make it appear that SMNR's are a consideration, however, there are federal, provincial and media documents showing that Saskatchewan is already committed to their purchase as a done deal. In a previous reply you mention waste nuclear, (depleted fuel), being managed by the NWMO, I note that this Canadian organisation still stores 50 years worth of nuclear waste and stil does not have an actual facility for the permanent long term storage of this and future waste. I am concerned about the TRUE cost of SMNR's with regards to the following. *Once built and commissioned is only the primary cost, this is the published cost that we as the public see, what we do not see are the running costs regarding the mining, processing and transporting nuclear fuel to and from each reactor site in order to keep it running. *we do not see the enormous security costs associated with keeping the facilities safe from all manner of threats including terrorism and theft of dangerous products. * the life span of an SMNR is only about 40 years, at which point the facility has to be decommissioned, we are never told in advance of the costs involved in decommissioning which cam actually take approximately 100 years of permanent manning and security...the U.S speculate that decommissioning costs are upwards of $70 Billion, and that this is a public cost, this is more that the facility costs to build in the first place. *as SMNR,s are made smaller and lighter, the reactor cores are correspondingly thinner and lighter, subsequently the actual core and mechanical apparatus are more neutron porous, meaning that the reactor itself becomes much more highly radioactive and very much more costly to maintain safely, and decommission after use. *SMNR's are less efficient regarding fuel use than corresponding larger facilities, although they have a lower initial build and commissioning cost, the actual cost long term is massively higher than what we are initially told, why are these figures and facts never placed for easy public view?

    Simon asked 3 months ago

    Thanks for engaging with us. The decision to proceed with nuclear power in Saskatchewan has not been made. Right now, our Small Modular Reactor (SMR) development project is in year three of an eight-year planning process to inform a construction decision planned for 2029. Before any decision to build an SMR can be made, there is significant planning and regulatory work that needs to happen, including a comprehensive Impact Assessment, obtaining the required licences to build and operate a nuclear facility, and significant engagement and consultation with Indigenous peoples, municipalities, organizations, stakeholders, and the public.

    Waste:
    In Canada, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is responsible for implementing Canada’s plan for the safe, long-term management of spent nuclear fuel and waste. Once implemented, the dry, spent fuel will be transferred to an NWMO facility for safe and permanent storage. The NWMO is also leading the development of an integrated long-term national strategy for the managing intermediate and low-level nuclear waste produced in Canada.

    Cost:
    SaskPower is committed to providing safe and reliable power to our customers at the lowest possible cost. SaskPower will ensure thorough financial due diligence has been completed prior to making a final investment decision in 2029 to determine whether to proceed with nuclear power. A big part of this decision will be based on cost, both at a capital/infrastructure level, as well as the potential impacts to rates. This includes an assessment of all operating, maintenance, and decommissioning costs as well. SaskPower considers these lifecycle costs for all generation options in terms of a levelized cost of the electricity that is produced.

    SaskPower is working closely with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) who is developing the same technology as what we have selected. Their SMR project is expected to be online and in operation before we make our final decision, giving us valuable insight. 

    Watching their SMR development and construction will give us a very clear picture of what the overall capital costs are, where processes can be more efficient, and more lessons learned. We anticipate the economies of scale could also create cost efficiencies, as with the more of these reactors being built, the thinking is that the costs would come down.

    To receive federal licensing, a detailed decommissioning plan is required including how the decommissioning phase will be funded, timelines, and so on. 

    Safety

    In Canada, the federal government regulates the Canadian nuclear industry through the globally respected Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), including the safe and secure construction, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear power plants. SMRs are an evolution of nuclear power technology and offer safety cases that exceed most conventional technologies that are in service today. That being said, SMRs will be regulated with the same rigor that the CNSC applies to conventional nuclear power plants in Canada.  

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    A previous answer from you on the reason for your commitment to net zero was to reduce greenhouse gases- what do you expect to achieve by reducing greenhouse gases?

    Ron asked 3 months ago

    By reducing our greenhouse gas emissions we expect to achieve: 

    1. Compliance with what we anticipate to be future regulations and law
    2. Increased overall customer satisfaction with our product
    3. Reduction of SaskPower’s effects on climate change
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    Maybe not so much a question as a comment. Your example of a current electric bill of $200/month exceeding $500/month by 2050 may not tell the whole story. My understanding is that by 2050, all residences will have to be off natural gas. Most will be heating their homes by 2050 with electricity. Currently, on a per unit of energy basis, electric heat is over three times the cost of gas. My equalized gas bill is just under $200/month which would be $600/month if I had electric heat. Using your example but including the current cost of electric heat, my electric bill will be over $2000/month by 2050. This does not include the cost of charging electric vehicles which also is more than the cost of gasoline on an equivalent unit of energy basis. There is also the cost to retrofit my heating system, install a vehicle charging station and upgrade my incoming electrical service. This is the reality of zero GHG emission. I’m just not sure most realize the future financial impact.

    JDO asked 3 months ago

    Thanks for your comment! The examples in this case are meant to give a general idea of what you can expect your bill to look like in the future, in today’s dollars, if your usage did not change. The bill examples used showcase how much it is expected to increase, despite not including the extra factors you mentioned, such as electric heat and electric vehicles. In the explanation, we prefaced we anticipated to see about a 3% increase per year, due to inflation as well as varying demand, depending on individual consumer needs and usage.

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    I attended the online sessions on Nov 7th and 14th. I'm still digesting all of the information. It would be helpful in future presentations and discussions to show more side by side visual comparisons of all 4 scenarios. The presentation shows a lot of detailed information and it would be easier to compare the scenarios if the main images were also shown in a way to easily compare and contrast those important visual tools. I liked the last slide showing rate increase for all scenarios on the same graph. It really highlights that there isn't much difference between the four scenarios when it comes to rate increases and they all end up at the same place. Also, I appreciated an initial slide showing current total generating capacity broken down into percentages and MW based on individual sources. I would like to see the same information presented for each scenario (total generating capacity amount, also showing the percentages and MW based on individual sources - our presentation only showed percentage breakdown and excluded total MW and individual MW). I think it would be helpful for people to see how the total generating capacity is also increasing in each of the scenarios. Thanks for the engagement sessions. I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback.

    Shannon Wright asked 4 months ago

    Thank you for your feedback. These workshops were a first for SaskPower, so information like this helps develop improved sessions in the future. Thanks for being a part of this process with us!

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    Canada Energy Regulator models negative emissions BECCS as critical to achieving Canada's emissions reduction goals and an important component of electricity sector transition. BECCS is ideally implemented in Saskatchewan and Alberta. With payment structures aligned withe US ($85/tonne of atmospheric withdrawal) the economics are strong. Biomass resources as residues from forestry, forest management can readily support BECCS. Atmospheric withdrawal via BECCS can offset continued emissions from gas plants such that these can run to end of life. Why is SaskPower not giving BECCS serious consideration? As previously mentioned, experts on BECCS can brought in to provide details as to biomass supply chains, policy requirements and costing. Please respond.

    David Maenz asked 4 months ago

    Thanks for your question. SaskPower is committed to achieving a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions power system by 2050 or earlier. To help achieve this goal, we’re considering a number of non-emitting power sources – including bioenergy and/or with carbon capture. SaskPower does assess bioenergy projects brought forward from experts and developers. As technologies advance and become more commercially available you may see more bioenergy in our supply mix. A great place to share your idea would also be here: Contribute to the Future Supply Plan | Engage SaskPower.