SaskPower recognizes the frustration that people across the province are feeling with constant outages and are taking the steps to try and improve the situation.
In releasing its year-end report today (Fri), the Crown Corporation says it will invest 400 million dollars in repairing aging infrastructure.
“We target areas of the province where we’re seeing abnormally high failures due to infrastructure, so part of our infrastructure investment is then targeted at those areas.” said President and CEO of SaskPower Mike Marsh.
While weather is a contributing factor to outages, so is wildlife. In an attempt to prevent wildlife from getting into areas where they shouldn’t, Saskpower is working on doing things like placing netting around current infrastructure in an attempt to cut down on breaks in service.
Marsh was asked why this investment is being made now and wasn’t made in the past.
“Well if you think about it, infrastructure wasn’t at a point where it was starting to fail,” he replied. “Although it was built in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, they have long design lives. Now we’re reaching a point where we’re at the end of life for a lot of this equipment.”
The announcement was made as the Crown Corporation reported a net income of $197 million dollars which is up $51 million from the year before.
The Crown Corporation says the increase is attributed to higher electricity sales.
The report also lists a number of highlights during fiscal 2018-19, including the addition of a new 20 megawatt Western Lily Wind Energy Facility near Grenfell and launching a new online outage map to give customers an easier way to get the latest information on service disruptions province-wide.
SaskPower signed a new deal with Manitoba Hydro that lays the groundwork to purchasing an additional 215 megawatts of renewable hydroelectricity.
The provincial power company also signed an agreement with the First Nations Power Authority to source 20 megawatts of flare gas power generations projects led by Indigenous communities and businesses.
(With Files from CKRM)