Saskatchewan has a world-class wind resource but is one of the lowest users of that resource in Canada and, indeed, North America. Why? SaskPower has invented a multitude of spurious reasons over the years. They have achieved little save to keep wind off the system + ensuring that billions in investment and tens of thousands of jobs have gone elsewhere while Saskatchewan electricity users are saddled with expensive electricity generating capacity (such as Boundary Dam CCS) and delays to badly needed grid upgrades.
One of SaskPower's most enduring anti-wind myths (which may have something to do with the fact that the average person is not an electrical engineer) is that wind energy is "not baseload". This statement has been soundly discredited by detailed electro-technical studies carried out by the International Energy Agency and the US Government as well as multiple credible institutions such as GE.
Given this evidence SaskPower has changed tack and started to say that wind is particularly challenging because baseload (JG: they just love that word!) coal capacity makes up a large portion - actually 44 percent - of our total generation. SaskPower claims that this is problematic because it is hard to adjust that inflexible capacity to deal with variability in wind output.
So we ran the numbers and, as usual, SaskPower's anti-wind claims are not supported by the evidence.
The chart uses data from the US Energy Information Administration's 2014 year-end 'Electric Power Monthly' report. We used that to calculate how much of each state's 2014 electricity was sourced from coal and wind. We then compared that with the same for Saskatchewan.
This information shows quite clearly that there is no validity to the claim that inflexible coal baseload and wind cannot coexist perfectly well together. Of particularly note in this chart is Iowa which generated 60 percent of its electricity from coal and just under 29 percent from wind. Also noteworthy is our neighbour North Dakota which generated 75 percent from coal and 18 percent from wind. Against these numbers Saskatchewan's 44 percent coal and 2.7 percent wind are risible.
There is a growing credibility deficit here (and it's not with SaskWind).