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SaskPower puts northern Saskatchewan hydroelectric project on hold

SaskPower has decided not to proceed with construction of the Tazi Twé hydroelectric project in northern Saskatchewan.
SaskPower has decided not to proceed with construction of the Tazi Twé hydroelectric project in northern Saskatchewan. SaskPower / Supplied

SaskPower announced on Monday that it is putting the Tazi Twé hydroelectric project on hold.

The project site was planned to be entirely on Black Lake First Nation and around 100 kilometres south of the Northwest Territories border.

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The Crown corporation said the deferral is due to a fall in its forecast power demand for northern Saskatchewan.

The demand for power had been projected to grow at a rate of four to five per cent per year. Now, those predictions have decreased to one to two per cent.

SaskPower said it will be able to meet demand with current infrastructure.

“We have decided not to proceed with construction until there is a viable business case for this project, which is largely dependent on economic activity in northern Saskatchewan,” SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh said in a press release.

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Over the past five years, around $34 million has been invested by SaskPower. Officials said the amount reflects the complex nature of the project, including its location, ownership structure and consultation requirements.

“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. We thank the community for its collaboration and look forward to our continued engagement,” Marsh said.

The Tazi Twé hydroelectric project was planned to have the capacity to generate 50 megawatts (MW) annually. Once operational, the facility would require between six and eight permanent employees.

SaskPower said the project can be revisited if conditions change.