In a statement, the Premier said that the agreements for the sale of 250MW of electricity to Minnesota Power and a 100MW sale to Wisconsin Public Service will trigger the development of the 695MW Keeyask Generating Station on the lower Nelson River, 175km northeast of Thompson in the Split Lake Resource Management Area.
Keeyask is to be developed by a partnership consisting of Manitoba Hydro and the Keeyask Cree Nations-Tataskweyak Cree Nation, War Lake First Nation, Fox Lake Cree Nation, and York Factory First Nation. The $5.6B project will provide some 4,500 person-years of construction employment, said Selinger.
I am very pleased that Manitoba Hydro is moving forward with these power sales which will significantly increase our exports and lead to further development of Manitobas renewable hydro power resources, stated Selinger. These sales will add to Manitobas reputation as a sustainable energy leader and help reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions by reducing the need for thermal generation in the United States.
At the same time, the development of Keeyask will deliver jobs, training and business opportunities to the Keeyask Cree Nations, the north and all of Manitoba.
Todays announcement demonstrates there is strong interest in Manitoba hydro power in US markets, resulting in the need to advance construction of new generation and a new interconnection with the US that will broaden and diversify our customer base, increase our revenues and contribute to reliable, cost-effective future electricity supply for Manitobans, addedd Bob Brennan, president and CEO, Manitoba Hydro.
The 250MW power sale to Minnesota Power over a 15-year period from 2020 to 2035 requires an additional interconnection between Manitoba and the US which will provide increased export capability and reliability benefits for Manitoba, explained Selinger.
The 100MW power sale agreement to Wisconsin Public Service covers the 2021-2027 period. Negotiations are continuing to expand the Wisconsin sale to 500MW which would require construction of the Conawapa Generating Station, the premier said, adding with these sales, Manitoba Hydro and its partners are reviewing scheduling and other requirements for moving forward with Keeyask.
Manitoba Hydros construction program also includes the Bipole III transmission line, being developed for a 2017 in-service date to provide reliability for Manitoba customers. Bipole III will also be utilized to transmit power from Keeyask and the 1485MW Conawapa Generating Station, supporting expanded electricity export sales outside of Manitobas borders. The Conawapa site is located in the Fox Lake Cree Nation Resource Management Area.
Sale agreements with Minnesota Power and Wisconsin Public Service will require regulatory approval in Canada and the US.