Manitoba Hydro and Great River Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly investigate the sale of up to 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity from Manitoba Hydro to Great River Energy, commencing in approximately 2020. The MOU builds upon the strong relationship and existing power sale agreements between the two companies.

Under the MOU, the utilities have agreed to discuss supplying some of Great River Energy’s long-term electricity needs from Manitoba Hydro’s proposed new hydroelectric stations. An eventual agreement could also take advantage of a new Manitoba to Minnesota transmission line also proposed as part of Manitoba Hydro’s preferred development plan.

The new hydro stations include the proposed Keeyask Generating Station, being developed in partnership with four local first nations — Tataskweyak First Nation, Fox Lake First Nation, War Lake First Nation, and York Factory First Nation. Keeyask builds on the successful partnership between Manitoba Hydro and the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation that saw the development of the Wuskwatim Generating Station, completed in 2012.

"We are pleased to work with a trusted partner like Great River Energy to help increase the supply of virtually carbon-free, renewable hydroelectric energy in their supply mix," stated Scott Thomson, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. "This MOU demonstrates the continued strong interest in hydro power in U.S. markets. Expansion of electricity trade with Great River Energy will support expansion of hydropower generating capacity in Manitoba and contribute to the ongoing supply of renewable, reliable, and cost-effective electricity to Manitobans."

Manitoba Hydro and Great River Energy have signed a number of power sale and diversity agreements over the last several decades including a 200 MW agreement that runs until 2030. These new discussions under the MOU will help both utilities continue to plan for the long-term development of their generating and transmission resources for the mutual benefit of their customers on both sides of the border.

"The discussion with Manitoba Hydro opens the door to additional hydropower for Great River Energy and our members," said Jon Brekke, Great River Energy Vice President of Membership and Energy Markets. "We have reduced our carbon intensity by 20 percent since 2005. Additional hydropower may be the next logical step in the evolution of our power generation portfolio."