Manitoba-Wisconsin power sale tied to new Canada hydro projects

Manitoba Hydro and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. announced an agreement April 17 in which the Canada utility will supply the U.S. utility 500 MW of hydropower backed by construction of two Nelson River hydro projects totaling 1,870 MW.

The utilities said they signed a term sheet to negotiate a contract for a 15-year purchase valued at more than $2 billion, beginning in 2018. The province-owned Manitoba Hydro already supplies 100 MW to Wisconsin Public Service, which serves 429,000 customers in northeastern and central Wisconsin.

The agreement, subject to regulatory approvals, requires construction of the Bipole 3 transmission line as well as the US$3.5 billion, 620-MW Keeyask (Gull) and US$5 billion, 1,250-MW Conawapa hydroelectric projects on Nelson River in northern Manitoba, Manitoba Hydro said. (HNN 12/6/07)

“We’re going to require both those projects,” company spokesman Glenn Schneider said.

Manitoba Finance Minister Greg Selinger said the agreement is in line with the province’s plans to develop clean, renewable energy to its full potential to benefit Manitobans.

�We are moving forward with construction on the (200-MW) Wuskwatim Dam (HNN 10/2/07), working on a cooperative agreement with First Nations on Keeyask, and continuing development work on the Conawapa generating station,� Selinger said.

The new line and hydro projects also will be used to export 250 MW to U.S. utility Minnesota Power beginning in 2020 under an agreement signed earlier this year. (HNN 1/29/08) Manitoba Hydro is to export carbon-free surplus electricity to Minnesota starting in 2008. The second stage of that deal is a 15-year purchase of 250 MW by Minnesota Power, starting about 2020.

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