REGINA – A wide-ranging study into ways more electricity can be produced in the province through wind power has been launched by SaskPower.
A portion of that review, to be done with the assistance of private consultants, will study wind conditions in various areas. That study could help address issues about the advisability of having wind-powered facilities widely distributed across the province versus concentrating such facilities in areas where there is the most wind.
“Wind is a very unique electrical product,” said Brian Mohr, manager of sustainable supply development with SaskPower.
And the problem with wind is it doesn’t always blow, at least in not enough strength at all times to provide a dependable source of energy.
Part of the point in studying wind conditions is to determine how much they vary in certain areas of the provinces on any given day, Mohr said.
If there is a calm day in one part of the province, it might be possible to make up some of the shortfall from a wind generation plant somewhere else in the province where the wind is brisk, Mohr said.
Private developers are being invited to share information about wind conditions with the consultants hired by SaskPower on the condition that the information would be kept confidential.
Mohr said Saskatchewan is already a leader in wind power and produces about 4.7 per cent of its total electrical supply from wind power.
But Mohr said he is optimistic the province can obtain even more than the existing 172 megawatts in wind-generated electricity it now obtains.
While wind power can never be the complete answer, Mohr said Saskatchewan will be well-served by “a good portfolio” of power sources that includes wind.
Part of the research being done will evaluate what infrastructure, such as power transmission lines, may be needed to make additional use of wind power possible, Mohr said.
SaskPower is planning to release a wind power development strategy next year to address issues related to the timing, ownership and procurement process for new wind power projects.
Neil Scott, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
5 June 2008
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