SaskPower pulls plug on Tazi Twe

Canadian utility SaskPower is halting development of the 50-MW Tazi Twe hydropower project, citing a “decline in the projected demand for power” in the province’s northern region.

The US$510 million plant had been scheduled for construction near Black Lake, in a region where demand for energy was expected to grow by about 5% annually.

Recent revisions dropped that growth by as much as 3%, however, meaning SaskPower could meet demand with its existing infrastructure.

“This approach is in line with our capital spending plan that ensures we meet the power needs of our customers while keeping rates as low as possible,” the utility said in a statement.

SaskPower said it has already invested more than $27.5 million into developing the project, with the bulk being spent in feasibility and engineering studies.

Tazi Twe, formerly known as the Elizabeth Falls project, would have been a run-of-river plant constructed on Black Lake First Nation land. SaskPower signed an agreement with the First Nation group in November 2015 allowing work on the facility to continue.

“SaskPower values the relationship we’ve worked hard to develop with the people from the Black Lake First Nation over the past number of years,” SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh said. “We thank the community for its collaboration and look forward to our continued engagement.”

The company said it might reconsider the plant should conditions change.

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