SaskPower Seeking to Expand Transmission Capacity with the Southwest Power Pool
May 17, 2022
SaskPower has applied to the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) to expand the transmission line capacity between Saskatchewan and the United States to enable the transmission of up to 650 megawatts (MW) of electricity between the two jurisdictions by 2027.
The SPP has 106 members across 14 states and manages the electric grid and wholesale power market for the central United States. SaskPower’s existing total capacity with the SPP is currently 150 MW.
“Expanding the interconnection with the SPP would enhance the reliability of our power system in the face of severe weather events,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskPower. “This added capacity will also enable SaskPower to increase the integration of solar and wind while also supporting the development of next generation technologies such as nuclear power from small modular reactors, energy storage and hydrogen.”
SaskPower is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and is working to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Stronger interconnections across North America are seen as a key to increasing intermittent energy sources (like wind and solar) into power systems and creating a cleaner and greener electricity sector.
In addition to enabling more renewable power, the proposed interconnection would improve reliability in the event of an unplanned outage at a power station, an issue on a transmission line, or a large outage from a weather event. A diverse mix of electricity supply options is key to a reliable power grid.
SaskPower’s application has been reviewed by the SPP, and if terms are successfully established, SaskPower could sign an agreement with SPP for the interconnection sometime this spring.
SaskPower’s grid is also interconnected with Manitoba (350 MW capacity) and Alberta (150 MW capacity). SaskPower has import agreements with Manitoba Hydro for 125 MW of power, increasing to 290 MW in June 2022. In addition to providing the ability to import power, these interconnections make it possible to export surplus power to our neighbours, leading to revenue opportunities.
At a glance...