SaskPower Signs Power Purchase Agreements with Awasis Solar and Pesâkâstêw Solar for Two 10-megawatt Solar Projects

December 14, 2020

SaskPower has entered into two power purchase agreements (PPA) for two 10-megawatt (MW) solar projects that were brought forward by First Nations Power Authority (FNPA). 

These two solar projects, which will be located near Weyburn and Regina, will generate revenue for First Nations and provide enough clean, renewable energy to the grid to power more than 5,000 Saskatchewan homes.

“These projects are another example of our Government’s engagement with First Nations businesses and our continued investment in a strong and diverse local economy,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower. “Adding more utility-scale solar will also help SaskPower meet its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.”

FNPA is the only North American non-profit, Indigenous owned and controlled organization developing power projects with Indigenous communities. FNPA bridges the gaps between industry, government, and Indigenous communities to evaluate and develop Indigenous owned power generation projects.

“Indigenous procurement is a priority for SaskPower, and we are pleased to be able to build on our already strong relationship with FNPA to finalize these two power purchase agreements,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower President & CEO. “These projects are a crucial step toward achieving SaskPower’s short-term goal of adding 60 MW of solar generating capacity to the provincial grid.”

Pesâkâstêw Solar, a partnership between George Gordon First Nation, Star Blanket Cree Nation and Natural Forces, will develop, own and operate the 10 MW solar project near Weyburn.

“On behalf of George Gordon First Nation we are proud to add our name to this exciting project,” said George Gordon First Nation Chief Byron Bitternose. “After a lot of hard work from our business arm, George Gordon Developments Limited, we are confident our Pesâkâstêw Solar Project will create employment and revenue generation opportunities for our First Nations members.” 

“Star Blanket Cree Nation is honoured and proud to be part of the Pesâkâstêw Solar Project team,” said Star Blanket Cree Nation Chief Michael Starr. “We would like to thank all our dynamic partners for moving this 10 MW solar project forward and securing the PPA with SaskPower. This 20-year project will provide revenue for our Nation as well as create employment and training opportunities.”

Awasis Solar, a partnership between Cowessess First Nation and Elemental Energy, will develop, own and operate the second project, which will be located near Regina.

“Cowessess First Nation has been on our renewable energy journey for a decade – we have an existing 1 MW wind, solar and battery facility, and we are currently installing 320 kW of solar on five community buildings back home,” said Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme. “The development of our small-scale projects has allowed our team to gain expertise in the sector, and we are now ready to embrace our first utility scale energy project.” 

Construction timing for the projects will be determined after further engineering work is complete by Awasis Solar, Pesâkâstêw Solar and SaskPower.

At A Glance...

  • SaskPower has entered two, 10-MW power purchase agreements brought forward by First Nations Power Authority
  • The Pesâkâstêw Solar facility will be built near Weyburn and the Awasis Solar facility will be built near Regina
  • Both facilities will have majority Indigenous ownership. 
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