We’re building a solar-battery-diesel combination microgrid to power the northern community of Descharme Lake. This will be a cost-effective solution to deliver cleaner, more reliable power to the community.
The microgrid will be built with 228 kilowatts (kW) of solar power and 488 kilowatt hours (kWh) of battery storage. It’ll cost an estimated $1.8 million.
Why a Microgrid?
We currently maintain a 96-kilometre (km) power line to Descharme Lake that provides power to fewer than 20 properties. The 60-year-old line is costly to maintain and requires significant maintenance and replacement.
The microgrid will be an independent system. It’ll power the community using sunlight during the day, while storing excess energy in a large battery for use when it’s dark. It’ll also include diesel generators to provide backup power when the sun isn’t shining, or the battery is low. Over 80% of power generated by the microgrid is expected to come from solar.
A microgrid provides a cost-effective alternative to provide cleaner, more reliable power to the community of Descharme Lake. It will also contribute to reducing our overall greenhouse gas emissions.
Learn more about solar power and how it works.
Our Progress So Far
We’ve engaged with community members, Rightsholders and stakeholders about the possibility of building a microgrid to replace the power line. We will continue to engage as the project progresses.
We received funding from the federal Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) program to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study. We’re now proceeding with design, procurement and construction of the microgrid.
Respecting the Local Environment
What we do today impacts our future. We’re always working hard to reduce our impact and protect the environment.
As we plan projects, we use tools like databases, satellite imagery and field surveys to understand the environment we are working in.
As projects move forward, we’ll make sure environmental protection standards are in place to reduce our impact on features like:
- sensitive lands
- wildlife and their habitats
- heritage resources
We also work with the Ministry of Environment and other regulatory agencies to ensure we meet all environmental requirements.
The microgrid is expected to be in service before summer 2024.
While this technology is common in areas across North America, this project is the first time SaskPower is building one. Once we’ve completed it, we’ll gain experience that will help determine if it’s a suitable solution for other locations.