SaskPower says it produced a “strong financial and operational performance” in 2020-21 despite some challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic while trying to help Saskatchewan’s economic recovery.
“SaskPower introduced financial relief for customers within a week of the first reported case of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, and the company continued to demonstrate its commitment to its customers throughout the pandemic,” Don Morgan, the minister responsible for SaskPower said.
“In addition to direct measures such as the Community Rink Relief Program and waiving interest on outstanding bills, SaskPower contributed $1.8 billion to the provincial economy in 2020-21, including $573 million in contracts to Saskatchewan suppliers.”
The Crown Corporation released its annual report Wednesday, showing a net income of $160 million in 2020-21 which is down $45 million from the previous year. SaskPower says the dip is primarily due to a three per cent drop in electricity use related to the pandemic.
“Our financial results were stronger than expected given the COVID-19 pandemic, and we continued to find internal efficiencies, which contributed to a third consecutive year without filing a rate increase,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower president and CEO.
“We were able to do this while investing $693 million in the provincial electricity system to ensure the delivery of reliable, sustainable and cost-effective power to our customers.”
Outlined in the report, SaskPower began construction of the 350-megawatt natural gas-fire Great Plains Power Station during 2020-21, signed on to Canada’s small modular reactor action plan and announced the development of the 10-MW Foxtail Grove Solar Energy Facility in northeast Regina.
SaskPower entered into power purchase agreements for two 10-MW solar projects brought forward by the First Nations Power Authority in 2020-21.
It also announced the cooperation’s first utility-scale battery energy storage system in 2020-21, supporting the integration of renewable energy which will supply power for up to 20,000 for one hour in the province.
In 2020-21, SaskPower completed the installation of more than 38,000 smart meters for industrial and commercial customers which began in 2017 and announced the residential smart meter pilot in March which will see more than 3,700 residents receive smart meters.