BRAY: Lost Opportunities

BRAY: Lost Opportunities

Postby Oscar » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:47 am

BRAY: Lost Opportunities

by Mike Bray Published in Wadena News February 10, 2014

Saskatchewan could have paired Saskatchewan wind power with Manitoba hydro. Our premier chose instead to invest $1.2 Billion of OUR tax money into a carbon capture and storage project that will generate a paltry 110 MW and burn 30% more coal. We are also spending an unknown amount of OUR money into research on experimental small nuclear reactors.

The Americans saw the opportunity to pair their abundant wind power generating facilities with Manitoba hydro. Minnesota Power and Manitoba hydro have inked a deal under which electricity from excess wind power in North Dakota can be stored in Manitoba‘s hydro reservoir when loads and prices are low, with the potential for selling that power back into the huge Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator at times when needs are high. Manitoba is already a participant in MISO, with some of the lowest electricity rates in North America. The deal involves building a new $1 Billion transmission line with the cost split . Minnesota will build the U.S. portion and Manitoba the Canadian portion, and at the same time Manitoba is going to build new power dams that create more storage capability. Manitoba Hydro says they are making the battery bigger, enabling more two way trade in electricity.

Saskatchewan could have chosen to go this route. We could have chosen to encourage production of renewables with feed in tariffs and a preference for local production. Rural communities would have been stabilized as well as the incomes of farmers, ranchers and First Nations. Our greenhouse gas emissions per capita, the highest in Canada and among the highest of any jurisdiction anywhere, would have dropped. We could have built the connecting lines with Manitoba hydro. Wind and hydro are a great combination to provide a complimentary, stable electrical system with very low greenhouse gas implications.

Saskatchewan is going to double our wind power production - to a whole 200 MW. No manufacturing.

North Dakota has 1680 MW of wind capacity with about 11,000 MW in various stages of planning and development. Capital investment in wind power is about $3.3 Billion with 4 manufacturing facilities providing over 1,000 jobs. Lease payments to landowners are about $5 Million annually.
We could still try to negotiate with Manitoba for future hydro development power and develop our abundant renewable energy resources.

Do you think our leaders have made wise decisions for the long term benefit of Saskatchewan and wise use of OUR tax money?

Mike Bray
Indian Head, SK
Oscar
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