This highly innovative wind project had its beginnings in 2012 and builds on the lessons learned from the City of Saskatoon's cancelled Landfill Wind Project.
Saskatoon Community Wind is bigger, economic and will be located 15 to 30 kilometres distant from Saskatoon. A unique feature of the project is that it will be owned by thousands of people from in and around Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They will be invited to pool their resources to purchase 10 large wind turbines and become project owners/shareholders. The project will be managed by a Board that is representative of those shareholders.
Electricity from the project will be sold to SaskPower and all profits will be returned to the shareholders.
BY THE NUMBERS
Project cost: $50-million
Electricity generated: 63-million kilowatt-hours annually (enough for 7,500 homes or 17,000 people)
Location: multiple potential sites 15-30 km from Saskatoon. A final site will not be selected until our community-representative board is finalised and until we have secured an agreement with SaskPower to purchase our electricity.
Returns to shareholders: We expect to offer an attractive rate of return but will not be able to advise details until negotiations with SaskPower are complete.
Environmental Impact: Would avoid the need to mine and burn 750,000 tonnes of coal over the project life of 25 years - that's enough coal to fill a rail car stretching over 125 kilometres. Emissions of 47,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases would be avoided annually: this is equivalent to taking 10,000 cars off the road. It is also 16 per cent of the 300,000 tonnes of targeted annual carbon dioxide reductions for the City's energy system (per Saskatoon's Energy and Greenhouse Gas Management Plan 2009)
In 2013 the City of Saskatoon declined the opportunity of participating in this unique opportunity. SaskPower is however currently reviewing its strategy for wind energy and will announce details later this year. We expect the results of that review to include a call for submissions from community-based wind farms and we will make a submission to SaskPower at that time.