Renewable Energy Systems (RES) is partnering with Cowessess First Nation to accelerate renewable energy goals in Saskatchewan. The two companies have announced a tender award with SaskPower for a 200 MW wind power project that will be south of Kipling.
The project is known as the Bekevar Wind Energy Project and will have around 40 wind turbines. It will also have an underground medium-voltage electrical collector system with its own access roads, a substation, two permanent meteorological towers, and an operations and maintenance building.
The Bekevar Wind Energy Project is owned by Bekevar Wind L.P., which is a partnership between RES and Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development. The latter is a wholly-owned Cowessess First Nation entity.
SaskPower plans to construct a 10-kilometer long transmission line that will connect the project to the provincial grid. The wind turbines will be in a 20,000-acre area overlapping with the RMs of Hazelwood and Kingsley. Five hundred acres will be on reserve land.
Bekevar Wind Energy Project will produce enough electricity to power around 100,000 homes, while playing a critical role in de-carbonizing the Saskatchewan power generation fleet. It will do this by displacing coal power dispatched by SaskPower.
The wind power project will help the Canadian province meet its federal target of phasing out conventional coal generation by 2030 while also enabling SaskPower to meet its own target of 50% reduction of emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. More benefits of the Bekevar Wind Energy Project include:
- Providing affordable, zero-carbon electricity to Saskatchewan for 25 years.
- Annual property and school tax revenues.
- Annual lease payments and/or royalties to participating landowners.
- Construction and operational jobs and support services during construction and throughout the life of the project.
- Contracting opportunities for local businesses.
- Increased local spending on goods and services during project development, construction, and operational phases.
- Indigenous ownership and a commitment to Indigenous employment and subcontracting.
Construction is expected to start sometime in the summer of 2022 and be completed by the end of 2023. Peter Clibbon, RES Senior VP of Development, shared a statement.
“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,” he said. “We are committed to delivering a quality project on schedule and deliver significant economic benefits to the host communities.”
Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme also added some thoughts. “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,” he said. “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.”
Featured image courtesy of RES.
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