Manitoba Hydro to sell 215 MW of renewable hydroelectricity to SaskPower

Photo of hydro lines stretching across a the prairies at sunrise.

A term sheet providing for a new long-term power sale has been signed between Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower. The terms sheet will see up to 215 megawatts of renewable hydroelectricity flow from Manitoba to Saskatchewan, beginning in 2022.

The new sale, announced by both utilities on October 29, will last a minimum of 18 years with a potential extension up to a total of 30 years, bringing long-term benefits to electricity customers in both provinces. This is the largest of three recent major power deals between the two provinces. By 2022, Manitoba Hydro will be supplying up to 315 megawatts of hydroelectricity to Saskatchewan.

Financial terms of the term sheet are confidential.

“We’re extremely pleased to announce that we’ve agreed to a term sheet for this significant new power sale to SaskPower,” said Kelvin Shepherd, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.

“We anticipate a final legal contract for the sale will be concluded in mid-2019. The energy we will be providing to SaskPower is reliable, renewable hydroelectricity that is currently surplus to the needs of Manitobans. Revenues from this sale will assist in keeping electricity rates affordable for our Manitoba customers, while helping SaskPower expand and diversify its renewable energy supply,” Shepherd said.

“This clean hydroelectric power represents a significant step forward when it comes to reaching SaskPower’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030,” said Mike Marsh, President and CEO of SaskPower. “It’s also reliable baseload electricity, which we’ll need as we add more intermittent generation options like wind and solar. Manitoba Hydro has been a valued neighbour and business partner over the years and this is a demonstration of that relationship.”

The sale to SaskPower will fully utilize the additional transmission capacity provided by a new 230,000-volt transmission line planned for construction between Birtle, Manitoba and Tantallon, Saskatchewan. When complete, the 80-kilometre line, announced in 2015, will also improve the reliability of the electrical grid, benefiting customers in both provinces.

The line is anticipated to be in service in 2021.