The first sale, running from 2016-2021, is for 108 megawatts of firm power. The second sale - which will use electricity produced by the proposed new Conawapa Generating Station on the Nelson River - is for 308 megawatts of firm power for up to 10-years. The 308-megawatt sale is scheduled to start in 2027.
A previously announced 100-megawatt sale to WPS is scheduled to run from 2021 to 2026, bridging the gap between these two new deals.
The 308-megawatt sale also requires the new 500,000-volt Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Line currently in the planning stages.
"This is an historic deal for our province and for Manitoba Hydro that will create thousands of good jobs and power our economic growth for decades," said Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba. "Our plan to build for the future now will ensure we can meet strong demand in our traditional and emerging export markets, helping to keep electricity rates for Manitoba families and businesses among the lowest on the continent."
"If approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, the agreements we signed with Manitoba Hydro are going to help WPS continue to offer our customers long-term access to an affordable, reliable supply of carbon-neutral electrical energy at stable prices," said Chuck Cloninger, President of WPS. "We have had a long and successful history with Manitoba Hydro, and these latest agreements build on that relationship."
Scott Thomson, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro, added that the deals show the value of developing hydroelectric facilities in Manitoba ahead of when they are required to meet domestic load if export sales can help minimize the cost to ratepayers.
"Export opportunities are fundamental to our preferred development plan. The agreement we are announcing today validates our plan, and means all Manitobans will continue to benefit from exports through enhanced reliability and lower rates.
"The first 108-megawatt sale will take advantage of existing generation and transmission resources initially, then use some of the capacity from the proposed Keeyask Generating Station when that comes online in 2019," said Thomson. "But the 308-megawatt sale will also use approximately 30 percent of the energy produced by Conawapa. These are firm, non-interruptible power sales, meaning we have to have the capacity available in order to make the contract work. Long-term planning is critical."
"Between these new and existing sales to WPS, and previously-announced energy sales to SaskPower, Minnesota Power, and Xcel Energy - plus ongoing growth in Manitoba energy consumption and load - the proposed Keeyask Generating Station is already 'sold out' and significant capacity utilization of Conawapa is already starting," said Thomson.
The total value of Manitoba Hydro's recently signed export contracts now totals over $9 billion.