SaskPower’s Chinook Power Station near Swift Current is now ready for functional tests, as the project was energized on Aug. 7.
The natural gas power station’s construction is on time and on budget according to the Crown corporation. Chinook represents a combined $680 million investment of provincial and federal dollars.
In addition to the upcoming start of functional tests, the build has reached one million work hours, without lost time due to injury.
“It’s great to see this important project carried out efficiently by our building and operating partner Burns & McDonnell,” SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh said in a statement.
“What I am most proud of is the commitment to safety that the employees of SaskPower and our contractors have made to reach a million hours of work without incident. Above all else, we need to bring power to Saskatchewan homes and businesses without ever compromising employee or public safety.”
Construction on Chinook began in January 2017. It is expected to provide enough electricity to power around 350,000 homes once complete. The power station is scheduled to be online late next year.
In addition to the work on Chinook, an extra five kilometres of new power lines have been constructed connecting the power station to the grid.
The Crown corporation adds that they are on track to reduce emissions by 40 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.
This is expected to be accomplished by increased development of wind and solar resources. The provinces first 10 megawatt utility scale solar plant is expected to come online next year, plus a contract will be awarded for a 200 megawatt wind farm.
SaskPower has said that natural gas will still be important to the power grid in the renewable push. Marsh said that low natural gas prices make it an appealing investment area while presenting SaskPower’s annual report last month.