By Renée Francoeur
September 14, 2015 – A new, 20-year agreement signed between Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower will see a minimum of 100MW of renewable hydroelectricity, equivalent to the electricity required to power 40,000 homes, flow from Manitoba to Saskatchewan beginning in 2020, Premier Greg Selinger announced.
The sale will require 18% of the energy generated from the under-construction Keeyask Generating Station on the Nelson River in northern Manitoba.
The deal is the fourth in a series of large firm sales made possible by the construction of Keeyask, according to the Manitoba government.
“We are very pleased to be able to announce that we’ve agreed to the major terms of the sale with SaskPower. We anticipate a final agreement in the next few months”, said Darren Rainkie, interim president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “The revenues from the sale will assist in offsetting the costs of Keeyask and keep rates low for our customers in Manitoba.”
Manitoba Hydro can now celebrate export sales with neighbouring jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada of $9 billion, Rainkie said, adding that over $4 billion of those contracts are directly dependent on Keeyask.
The sale to SaskPower is a firm sale, which requires Manitoba Hydro to have sufficient capacity available at all times and not to interrupt energy deliveries, if at all possible, Eric Robinson, the minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, said. For this reason, Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower will need to build a new 80-km, 230,000-volt transmission line in western Manitoba between Birtle and Tantalon, Sask., to ensure energy deliveries can occur on a firm basis. This new interconnection will also allow increased east-west trade in electricity and will improve system reliability in both provinces, Robinson added.