SaskPower releases 11th Environmental ReviewMeasures to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, along with other environmental performance achievements during 2003 are highlighted in SaskPower's recently-released 11th Environmental Review.
GHG emission reduction is a major challenge for the utility, which relies primarily on fossil fuel generation. SaskPower established its Green Power Portfolio in 2003, focusing on three areas of development: wind power, small-scale Environmentally Preferred Power (EPP) and customer-oriented energy conservation activities.
The Cypress wind power facility was expanded to 11 megawatts (MW) during 2003, with the addition of seven turbines, and SaskPower International announced plans to develop 150 MW of wind power in Saskatchewan as a joint venture with Atco Power.
The utility's first call for private sector EPP projects last fall received a positive response, leading to 32 short-listed proponents involving nearly 170MW of potential generation. In addition, distributed generation partnerships were announced for projects using waste byproducts such as wood residue and hog manure to produce electricity. SaskPower also continues to support a number of clean coal research initiatives aimed at eliminating emissions from coal combustion.
Within its own operations, SaskPower reports that in 2003, it re-used slightly over 80% of the insulating oil it took out of service, a total volume of just over one million litres. The utility continued to sell flyash, the byproduct of its coal combustion process, to a Saskatchewan company working on a provincial highway improvement project. The material is blended with other materials to strengthen the road surface.
SaskPower's ten-year-old Zero G (i.e. zero garbage) initiative increased paper recycling from corporate facilities in the Regina area by 14% in 2003. More than 68,000 kilograms of paper were diverted from landfill, and additional programs were introduced to divert other materials such as aerosol cans, antifreeze, batteries, organic materials and printer cartridges. As a partner in the Regina and District Food Bank's thINK FOOD program, SaskPower provided more than 3,100 laser and inkjet cartridges to this nation-wide recycling program-the largest single contribution by a Saskatchewan business. The donation raised over $4,400, enough to purchase nearly 1,600 kg of food for the Food Bank.
A number of environmental projects were either completed or well under way during 2003, notes the report. The installation of electrostatic precipitators was completed at SaskPower's Boundary Dam power station; this has reduced particulate emissions from the facility by over 95% since 1998. Also completed was a project to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from Poplar River power station. Installation of low NOX burners in Unit #2 during 2002, along with operation at optimal oxygen levels to reduce NOX formation led to a reduction in NOX emissions of more than 10% below average historic emissions.
Among the projects in progress are:
-- installation of an oil mist eliminator at the Queen Elizabeth power station, to reduce airborne pollutants from this facility. The increased use of combined-cycle units has lowered NOX emissions by 22% below 2002 levels.
-- identification of hazardous wastes handled by SaskPower's transmission and distribution (T&D) division: a comprehensive list of T&D products considered to be dangerous goods has been drawn up, along with descriptions of their associated hazards. This will be followed in 2004 by a list of certified waste disposal companies.
In other activities, Premier Lorne Calvert has appointed Pat Youzwa as SaskPower's new president and CEO, effective July 5th, 2004. She replaces John Wright, who was recently appointed Deputy Minister of Health. Youzwa was previously vice-president of customer services for SaskPower, a position she had held since 2001. She is also president and CEO of NorthPoint Energy Solutions, a SaskPower subsidiary. Before jointing SaskPower in 1999, Youzwa operated her own consulting business and had held a number of senior-level positions with the provincial public service, including Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines.