Energy & Power
With “more than enough” hydropower, Manitoba Hydro to decommission Selkirk
By Anthony Capkun
July 11, 2020 – Citing “abundant renewable hydroelectric power”, Manitoba Hydro is pulling the plug on the Selkirk Generating Station after 60 years of operation.
“Our system is such now that it no longer makes economic or environmental sense for Manitoba Hydro to maintain and operate the Selkirk station,” said Shane Mailey, VP of Operations. “We can supply more than enough power with our hydroelectric stations. We no longer need the extra capacity Selkirk Generating Station provides.”
Maintained as an emergency supply for southern Manitoba in cold months, the continued operation of the Selkirk Generation Station is no longer needed, says the utility, with the completion of the Bipole III transmission line last year, the Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project this year, and the Keeyask Generating Station forecast to produce its first power this fall.
Closing the natural gas-powered station will save an estimated $5 million a year. Currently, 33 employees work at Selkirk; following the station’s closure, some will be redeployed, and some will remain at the plant to operate critical functions (e.g. security, maintenance, fire protection).
“We’re working closely with the unions to redeploy staff according to provisions of our collective agreements,” Mailey said.
Full decommissioning will not be completed for several years, says Manitoba Hydro, adding that no decisions have yet been made about the physical footprint of the plant, or the property it occupies.