Shaunavon rink part of wind power project
A50 metre high wind turbine will soon be part of the Shaunavon skyline, with SaskPower selecting Shaunavon as one of four locations where wind power will partially power their ice rink.
Shaunavon, along with Central Butte, Eatonia and Strasbourg will be participating in the SaskPower Self-Generated Electricity Demonstration Project for Rinks which will utilize wind power to supply electricity for their arenas. The four projects will explore the potential economic and environmental benefits of using wind power. The data SaskPower obtains in the five-year project will help guide future programming decisions around customer self-generation and energy efficiency, for ice rinks and other commercial operations.
A 50 kilowatt wind turbine will be installed, generating an estimated $4,500 and $10,000 of electricity per year depending on wind totals. Saskatchewan’s higher wind speeds are usually experienced during the late fall and winter months, when power demands at arenas are at their highest.
“In Saskatchewan, it’s easy to understand why there is so much interest in wind power,” said Robert Watson, SaskPower President and Chief Executive Officer. “ The performance of the turbines at these locations will be monitored and evaluated so that municipalities – and anybody else that may be considering a self-generation project – will have the most accurate information possible before making a decision.”
Shaunavon was selected from a group of over 150 locations expressing interest in participating in this demonstration project. SaskPower is in the process of doubling the province’s wind capacity to more than 400 megawatts. Wind power will soon make up about 8.5 per cent of SaskPower’s total generating capacity, which is among the highest percentages of installed wind capacity in Canada.
A technical evaluation has already been prepared for SaskPower at the approved sites, and the wind turbines are expected to be installed and operational at each of the selected sites by late summer. WorleyParsons, an independent engineering, procurement and construction company, will be managing the project for SaskPower.
SaskPower is covering the capital costs of the demonstration projects, covering purchase costs, installation and maintenance costs for the five year project period. At the conclusion of the project, maintenance costs and other financial responsibilities will become the responsibility of the municipality. SaskPower estimates maintenance costs will be approximately $2,500 per year.
The project also contains a user interaction feature, where a screen in the facility will display ongoing electricity production totals from the turbine’s operation information.
Earlier this year communities were invited by SaskPower to submit an expression of interest to participate in the program, with the four chosen communities announced on May 26.