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SaskPower selects Swift Current for 2019 plant

June 15, 2015 | By Renée Francoeur

June 15, 2015 – SaskPower says the location of its next natural gas power plant has finally been chosen after a process that began in 2012.

A 158-acre site near Swift Current will see the construction of a 350MW combined cycle natural gas plant when the project is complete in late 2019, the utility said.

“Demand for electricity grew nearly 10% in the last two years and records for peak demand continue to be set,” said SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh. “A new natural gas plant boosts our supply of reliable power to the southwest corner of the province and provides an economical source of energy to the provincial electrical grid.”

The gas plant location was chosen based on a number of factors, including proximity to existing transmission infrastructure and natural gas supply, as well as the growing demand for electricity in southwest Saskatchewan. Consultation was done with the public, local community leaders and affected landowners, SaskPower noted.

Twelve potential areas were initially evaluated. The Swift Current area was selected as it “requires fewer infrastructure upgrades, which will significantly reduce the costs associated with the project”, SaskPower stated.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for our community,” said Swift Current Mayor Jerrod Schafer. “Not only will the completed plant create between 20 and 25 new permanent jobs, but we anticipate that the construction phase of this project will demand four to five hundred people. As a community that is growing steadily and looking to continue our progression towards 25,000 residents by 2025, this announcement is very welcome news.”

The next steps in the process are to determine whether the project will be built by SaskPower or by an independent power producer through a competitive procurement process. A RFP will be issued publically and more information will be available in the next several weeks, according to SaskPower.

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