SaskPower Completes 300 km Northern Power Line

August 18, 2016

$330 million project provides increased power reliability to the north

SaskPower is pleased to celebrate the conclusion of the Island Falls to Key Lake (I1K) transmission line project in northern Saskatchewan. This new line increases power reliability and capacity for communities while supporting continued economic development in the north. The approximately $330 million project began in 2012 and was brought online in phases with the final stage being completed last month.

"The I1K project was one of the most complex transmission projects in North America," said SaskPower President and CEO Mike Marsh. "This was due to the challenging terrain, working conditions, unique design and helicopter construction activities. With the hard work and dedication of our employees, contracted partners and northern communities, we are now able to continue bringing reliable power to the far reaches of the province, and for many decades to come."

The 300 kilometres of line will provide the north with more stable power service for industry and residential customers. The new line has a lifespan of more than 50 years and incorporates the newest technologies, from lightning protection to platforms to prevent birds from building nests on the power structures. In collaboration with SaskTel, 300 kilometres of overhead fibre cable was also strung on top of I1K lines, increasing bandwidth and capacity to their northern network.

The line is supported by 760 towers, each of which was assembled on-site in the north from its more than 2,000 individual pieces. This required work during several harsh winters and the use of 45 helicopters, flying more than 30,000 hours over the life of the project.

The project required the support of 64 companies and an average of 250-300 full-time workers daily over a five-year period. In total, the project took approximately 1.8 million hours of work. SaskPower subcontracted various work on the project to local Aboriginal and northern businesses. Community members from both Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Peter Ballantyne Creek Nation performed right-of-way clearing. Other work projects performed by local Aboriginal and northern businesses included tower assembly and support to ground services. This led to nearly $60 million of the project budget invested in northern businesses.

At a glance...

  • The final stage of SaskPower's I1K transmission project was completed this summer.
  • The approximately $330-million project provides increased power reliability and capacity to northern Saskatchewan.
  • The project includes support of 64 companies and had up to 250-300 full-time workers.
  • It was one of the most complex transmission projects in North America.

Read the final chapter in our Powering the North series- Mission Accomplished. #PowerToGrow

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