Energy & Power
Transmission & Distribution
SaskPower investing millions in Swift Current area for 2017
By Renée Francoeur
October 26, 2016 – Over $15 million in maintenance work and $965 million worth of major projects are in the works for Saskatchewan’s Swift Current, Assiniboia, Maple Creek, Shaunavon and surrounding areas as part of SaskPower’s efforts to keep up with growing demand, meet environmental commitments and renew an aging power grid.
“SaskPower is facing an ongoing power challenge,” says Tim Eckel, vice-president of transmission services. “As the demand for power continues to grow, we not only need to build the grid, but we need to maintain our existing assets, including our power lines, stations and power plants.”
Eckel noted forecasted SaskPower activity for the Swift Current region over the next few years is high due to increased customer demands and future generation plans.
So far in 2016, SaskPower notes residential and commercial customers in the area have made over 1100 new connection or reconstruction requests. Maintenance work in the region, worth over $15 million, includes upgrades to stations and electrical devices that protect the system’s power lines, inspection/repairs on aging wood poles and relocating/upgrading overhead power lines out of the middle of farmers’ fields.
Construction on five major projects, worth over $965 million total, in the area is also scheduled to begin throughout 2017. These include the Chinook Power Station—a $680 million combined cycle natural gas power generating facility—and a 200 km high voltage (230 kV) transmission line worth $260 million. Additional work includes changes to an existing high voltage transmission line and a system connection power line for Chinook Power Station, each worth $10 million and a new station with high voltage connection lines worth over $5 million.
Eckel noted that in order to safely complete ongoing system improvements, planned outages are required and customers will be notified in advance.