SaskPower Investing to Renew Power Grid, Support Growth in the Saskatoon Area

October 31, 2016

About 42 per cent of a residential power bill goes towards the province's electrical system - in recent years, SaskPower has invested over $225 million in the Saskatoon area to keep up with growing demand, meet environmental commitments and renew an aging power grid.

Over $25 million in 2016 maintenance work and just under $200 million worth of major projects have been undertaken in the past five years in Saskatoon and surrounding areas of Colonsay, Allan, Clavet, Aberdeen, Dalmeny, Martensville, Warman, Osler, Vanscoy and Delisle.

"SaskPower is facing an ongoing challenge," says Ted Elliott, Vice President of Distribution Services. "As the demand for power continues to grow, we not only need to build the grid, but we need to maintain our existing assets, including our transformers and stations. We're investing about $1 billion dollars a year throughout Saskatchewan to make sure homes, farms and businesses have the power they need, when they need it."

So far in 2016, customers in the area have made over 1,300 new connection or reconstruction requests. Maintenance work includes rejuvenating or replacing underground power lines, upgrading or rebuilding stations that deliver power to customers, upgrading or replacing electrical devices that assist field technicians in finding problems, adding wildlife protection to keep electrical components safe from birds or rodents and trimming trees near power lines.

Over the past five years, SaskPower will have spent about $180 million on the Saskatoon Area Reinforcement project. Two new high voltage power lines worth about $65 million came online in May and July, providing more capacity to some of SaskPower's industrial customers. Construction of a high voltage power line worth over $20 million is underway and scheduled to be in-service by spring of 2017.

The final construction activities on a station capacity upgrade project, worth over $15 million, was also completed at the end of September. Currently there is approximately $45 million worth of future work in the planning stage, to be finalized in 2017.

Elliot noted that in order to safely complete ongoing system improvements, planned outages might be required. Customers will be notified in advance. Planned power outages are listed on saskpower.com and on Twitter@SaskPower. #PowerToGrow

At a glance...

  • Over $25 million has been allocated to the region in 2016 as part of SaskPower's $1 billion investment in the province's electrical system.
  • From 2011-2016, just under $200 million worth of system reinforcement work was done in Saskatoon and surrounding area.
  • Aging infrastructure causes approximately 34 per cent of unplanned outages in Saskatchewan.
  • This year, 42 per cent of your SaskPower bill will go toward electrical infrastructure.

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