For decades now, coal has been and continues to be a highly reliable, low-cost source of power generation for Saskatchewan, said SaskPower President and CEO Robert Watson. However, SaskPower is making unprecedented investments to ensure the electricity system is environmentally sustainable, and ready for the future.
The retirement of Unit #1 aligns SaskPower with federal carbon dioxide CO2 regulations that were announced in 2012, calling for coal-fired units which have been operating for 50 years or more to meet new emissions standards by July 1, 2015. Retrofitting Unit #1 in time to meet the new regulations was not deemed economically feasible by SaskPower.
To keep coal as a viable fuel source, SaskPower occupies a leadership role in carbon capture and storage technology, said Watson, referring to the construction of the worlds first and largest post-combusion commercial-scale coal-fired carbon capture and storage project, also at Boundary Dam Power Station. The $1.24 billion project remains on schedule for completion in the first quarter of 2014, and will cut CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent from Boundary Dam Unit #3.
SaskPower is also currently building a carbon capture test facility with Hitachi Ltd. at the Shand Power Station near Estevan. The $60M project funded by both SaskPower and Hitachi is scheduled for completion in mid-2014. The facility is leading the way by offering a neutral platform for vendors to verify and improve post-combustion technologies in a commercial setting.
The development of cleaner electricity generation options is essential to Saskatchewans future. As part of SaskPowers future planning, the company is undertaking an evaluation of the full range of electricity supply options. The planning process will help determine the right mix of clean generation sources that best enables the delivery of safe, reliable, sustainable electricity for the people of Saskatchewan at the lowest possible cost.
SaskPower is well positioned to meet the provinces future electrical requirements. From now until 2017, SaskPower will add up to 1,300 MW to the provincial power system.
Facts about Boundary Dam Unit #1:
Commissioned in 1960, Unit #1 has a 62 megawatt MW generating capacity
Boundary Dam Power Station has a total generating capacity of 828 MW 766 MW without Unit #1 and,
The retirement of Unit #1 will result in a net annual reduction of approximately 350,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, or the equivalent of taking approximately 100,000 cars off the roads, and will not negatively impact SaskPowers ability to supply the required amount of electricity to customers.