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REM: Native Canadian co-owned wind project awarded 25-year power purchase agreement

The Canadian utility SaskPower has awarded a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for power from a 200-MW wind project that is being developed by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Canada and a company owned by a Native Canadian tribe, Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development.

The Bekevar wind farm will be located partly on Native land in south-eastern Saskatchewan. Construction on the project will begin in the summer of 2022, and the facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.

The PPA is important because of an increasing number of utilities’ goals to reduce climate emissions.

SaskPower says it will add 585 MW of wind energy to the grid by the end of 2023. Three wind projects are currently under construction totalling 385 MW: the 10-MW Riverhurst wind project, located near Riverhurst, the 175-MW Blue Hill project near Herbert, and the 200-MW Golden South facility near Assiniboia. All will sell power to SaskPower.

“Reducing greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions by at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 is a priority for SaskPower,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower president and CEO. “Incorporating wind power through projects such as Bekevar is a crucial component of our strategy to make significant reductions to emissions while ensuring SaskPower can supply reliable, sustainable and affordable power to our customers.”

Meanwhile, in Texas in the US, a PPA for wind power has been signed with a major dairy company. Enel Green Power North America and HP Hood have agreed that Hood will purchase 90 GWh of wind energy each year from Enel’s Azure Sky Wind project, which is under construction. The virtual PPA is Hood’s first for renewable energy. Hood is one of the largest food and beverage manufacturers in the US.

In addition to Hood, Enel Green Power will also sell the electricity produced by a portion of the Azure Sky project to Kellogg Company, MilliporeSigma, Akamai Technologies, Synopsys and Uber. Importantly, the project will include a 350-MW wind project paired with some 137 MW of battery storage. It is expected to be operational in the first half of 2022.