January 26, 2004

SaskPower issues RFP for environmentally preferred power generation projects

SaskPower last week issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for up to 15 megawatts (MW) of environmentally preferred electrical power generation. The 32 organizations receiving the RFP have until May 28th, 2004 to submit their extensive proposal plans.

"We're taking an important step toward meeting Saskatchewan's projected load-growth energy needs until 2010 - without creating any new greenhouse gas emissions - through the environmentally preferred power program," said Frank Quennell, Minister responsible for SaskPower.

SaskPower expects to announce its selection of the first set of environmentally preferred (EPP) power projects by the summer of 2004. These initial projects are expected to be in service in 2005. Solicitations for additional projects will continue annually until 2005, ultimately resulting in up to 45 MW of environmentally preferred electrical generation.

The RFP follows an initial call for expressions of interest, issued by SaskPower last September. The call sought innovative and viable environmentally preferred electrical power generation projects between 25 kilowatts and 5 MW in size. Eligible technologies included flare gas, wind, solar, low-impact hydro, biomass, biogas, and heat recovery from an existing waste heat source.

The response surpassed expectations, with a total of 52 projects from the 32 proponents meeting the qualification criteria. Together, the submissions represented 169.9 MW of electrical generation, breaking down as follows: biomass/biogas, 42.2 MW; flare gas, 15 MW; heat recovery, 49.2 MW; low-impact hydro, 1.6 MW; solar, 3.2 MW; and wind, 58.7 MW.

The environmentally preferred power program is an important part of the government's green power portfolio, which also includes the recent expansion of the Cypress wind power facility; a joint venture between SaskPower International and Atco Power to construct 150 MW of wind power in the province; and community energy efficiency pilot projects.

More information about the Environmentally Preferred Power solicitation is available from Brian Mohr, senior engineer, independent power producer options, who is is the project lead for the EPP program, 306/566-3379, or on the SaskPower Web site, www.saskpower.com.

Energy efficiency policy

In related activities, the provincial government recently announced a new policy mandating energy efficiency in public buildings. It stipulates that all new projects and relevant renovations with at least 30% government funding are to be designed and built to a high energy performance standard. That standard is defined as a minimum 25% better than the 1997 model National Energy Code for Buildings.

Meeting this standard will also help projects qualify for the federal commercial building incentive program, administered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). This initiative provides incentives equal to double the annual energy savings, to a maximum of $60,000 for commercial buildings and $80,000 for industrial buildings.

Project designers are encouraged to follow the integrated design process, in which all the building design disciplines, along with the owner or owner's representatives, participate in a series of facilitated workshops leading to the completed design of the new project. This process has been shown to result in high energy efficiency without increasing project costs.

Saskatchewan's Office of Energy Conservation will verify the consistent application of the policy, in co-operation with Saskatchewan Property Management Corporation, Saskatchewan Health and Saskatchewan Learning. More information is available from Terry White at the Office of Energy Conservation, 306/787-9381.

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