A northern community is set to get its own micro power grid.
SaskPower has confirmed work is now underway to set up the Northern Settlement of Descharme Lake with a self contained micro power grid. SaskPower spokesperson Scott McGregor told MBC Radio News, the micro grid will be powered by energy sources that do not generate carbon emissions.
“It’s going to be primarily solar and then also that solar powers’ going to be charging the battery in the backup,” he said.
McGregor said the proposed micro grid would be an independent power system which would use solar energy to provide power to the community during the day, while the large battery system would make sure their is power available at night. A backup generator is also part of the grid.
To get power to Descharme Lake currently SaskPower sends it in via a line which is over 90 kilometers long and about 60 years old. McGregor explained the line currently services under 20 properties and would need work in the future if it is to continue being the community’s primary source of power.
“In order for us to really keep it going, it would require significant maintenance and replacement eventually,” he said.
When the micro grid is ready to go online, the power line will remain to provide another source of backup power if needed, it however would not be energized.
The decision to set Descharme Lake up with a micro grid came after SaskPower was provided over $100,000 in support from the federal government to pay for a feasibility study, which found that such a power system could work. There is currently no firm date set for when the new grid could come online. McGregor explained the project is now in the planning stages.
“We’re still kind of getting our ducks in a row, the project is moving forward, its the first of its kind in the province, we’re looking forward to how it shakes out,” he said.
McGregor said SaskPower is excited about the project as it will help the company along with Descharme Lake reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. However when it comes to their power bills, McGregor said people in the community will not be seeing any changes when the new grid comes online.
“Every residential customer … pays the same usage rate as well as delivery charge and so on,” he said.
(Top Photo: A solar and wind energy farm. Photo courtesy of SaskPower Facebook.)