The Green Options Partners Program, meanwhile, will see SaskPower introduce a standing offer program to purchase up to 50 MW of renewable power from private sector developers, with up to 25 MW of the total coming from wind power. The remainder will be generated through proven clean technologies, such as biomass, heat recovery or low impact hydro generation.

“As our government announced in the Throne Speech on October 21, we are making a significant commitment to increased wind power in Saskatchewan,” said Bill Boyd, minister responsible for SaskPower. “These programs will enable SaskPower to continue to lead in the production of clean renewable energy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help ensure Saskatchewan has a sustainable supply of electricity for many years to come.”

When the new wind generation is brought into service, wind power will make up about 8.5% of SaskPower’s total generating capacity.  The expansion of wind power will reduce the corporation’s CO2 emissions by about 225,000 tonnes a year.

Currently, the corporation has 172 MW of wind power on its system and has signed an agreement with an Independent Power Producer for another 25 MW to be in service in 2011.

“We considered a number of operational, environmental and economic factors before deciding to add more wind power,” said SaskPower president Pat Youzwa. “We believe this is a prudent decision that will allow SaskPower to meet its environmental commitment while ensuring our system continues to operate in a reliable and sustainable manner.”

SaskPower has been laying the foundation for the addition of more wind power by installing new natural gas generation in the province, which provides peak generating service to the provincial electrical system and serves as a backup to wind generation.