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Crown Corporation
IndustryElectric utility
Area served
Key people
Mike Marsh, CEO
ProductsElectricity generation, transmission and distribution
RevenueC$2,296 million (2015)[1]
C$26 million (2015-16)[1]
Total assetsC$10,434 million (2015-16)[2]
Total equityC$2,146 million (2012)[2]
OwnerGovernment of Saskatchewan
Number of employees
3,150 (2015-16)[3]
ParentCrown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan[4]
SubsidiariesNorthPoint Energy Solutions[5]

SaskPower is the principal electric utility in Saskatchewan, Canada. Established in 1929 by the provincial government, it serves more than 522,000 customers and manages over $10 billion in assets. SaskPower is a major employer in the province with over 3,150 permanent full-time staff located in approximately 70 communities.

Legal status[edit]

SaskPower was founded as the Saskatchewan Power Commission in 1929, becoming the Saskatchewan Power Corporation in 1949 with the passage of The Rural Electrification Act.[6] The abbreviated name SaskPower was officially adopted in 1987.

Owned by the government through its holding company, the Crown Investments Corporation, SaskPower is governed by a Board of Directors who are accountable to the provincial government Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Power Corporation.

SaskPower has the exclusive right and the exclusive obligation to supply electricity in the province, except in the city of Swift Current and most of the city of Saskatoon. The Swift Current Department of Light and Power provides electrical services within the municipal boundary of Swift Current.[7] Saskatoon Light & Power provides service to the customers within the 1958 boundaries of Saskatoon while SaskPower has responsibility for areas annexed after 1958.[8]


Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower serves more than 522,000 customers through more than 157,000 kilometres of power lines throughout the province and covers a service territory that includes Saskatchewan's geographic area of approximately 651,000 km2 (251,000 sq mi). This relatively low customer density means that while most North American electrical utilities supply an average of 12 customers per circuit kilometre, SaskPower supplies about three. In fiscal year 2015-16, total electricity revenue was $2,690 million (Canadian) on sales of 27,382 gigawatt hours of electricity.


Francois Finlay Dam and Nipawin Hydroelectric Station

SaskPower has a generating capacity of 3,542 megawatts (MW) from 17 generating facilities, including three coal-fired power stations, five natural gas stations, seven hydroelectric stations, and two wind power facilities. SaskPower also buys power from various independent power producers (IPPs) including the North Battleford Generating Station, Cory Cogeneration Station, Spy Hill Generating Station, Morse Wind Energy Facility, Red Lily Wind Power Facility and SunBridge Wind Energy Facility. SaskPower's total available generation capacity is 4,437 MW.

The SaskPower transmission system utilizes lines carrying 230,000 volts, 138,000 volts and 72,000 volts. SaskPower has interconnections at the Manitoba, Alberta and North Dakota borders.

Rural areas[edit]

Incorporated under The Power Corporation Act (1949), SaskPower purchased the majority of the province's small, independent municipal electrical utilities and integrated them into a province-wide grid. It was also responsible under The Rural Electrification Act (1949) for the electrification of the province's rural areas, bringing electricity to over 66,000 farms between 1949 and 1966. To manage the high costs of electrifying the province's sparsely populated rural areas, SaskPower used a large-scale implementation of a single wire ground return distribution system, claimed to be a pioneering effort (although some utilities in the USA had been using such a system on its rural lines). It was at the time one of the largest such systems in the world. One of the last cities in the province added to SaskPower's system was North Portal in 1971 (which had been served up to this point from Montana-Dakota Utilities' distribution system in Portal, ND just across the border).


Island Falls Hydroelectric Station
  • NorthPoint Energy Solutions Inc., located in Regina, Saskatchewan is a wholly owned subsidiary of SaskPower and is SaskPower's wholesale energy marketing agent. NorthPoint began operation on November 1, 2001. NorthPoint handles the export of power on the North American Market.

Generating facilities[edit]

All of SaskPower's generating facilities are located within Saskatchewan.

Owned by SaskPower[edit]

Name Location Fuel Units net capacity (Date) Capacity (net MW) Link
Boundary Dam Power Station Estevan Coal
  • one 139 MW unit (1969)
  • one 139 MW unit (1970)
  • one 139 MW unit (1973)
  • one 288 MW unit (1977)
672 MW
Centennial Wind Power Facility Near Swift Current Wind Power 150 MW
Charlot River Power Station Near Uranium City Hydroelectric
  • two 5 MW units (1980)
10 MW
Coteau Creek Hydroelectric Station Near Elbow Hydroelectric
  • three 62 MW units (1968)
186 MW
Cory Cogeneration Station

(50% Owner)

PCS Cory Mine

Near Saskatoon

Natural Gas
  • three 76 MW units (2003)
228 MW
Cypress Wind Power Facility Near Gull Lake Wind Power
  • nine Vestas V47 660 kW turbines (2002)
  • seven Vestas V47 660 kW turbines (2003)
11 MW

E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station Near Nipawin Hydroelectric
  • six 34 MW units (1963/64)
  • two 42 MW units (1966)
289 MW
Ermine Power Station Near Kerrobert Natural Gas
  • two 46 MW units (2009)
92 MW
Island Falls Hydroelectric Station Near Sandy Bay Hydroelectric
  • two units (1928)
  • three units (1930)
  • one unit (1937)
  • one unit (1939)
  • one unit (1948)
  • one unit (1959)
111 MW
Landis Power Station Near Landis Natural Gas
  • one 79 MW unit (1975)
79 MW
Meadow Lake Power Station Near Meadow Lake Natural Gas
  • one 44 MW unit (1984)
44 MW
Nipawin Hydroelectric Station Near Nipawin Hydroelectric
  • one 85 MW unit (1985)
  • two 85 MW units (1986)
255 MW
Poplar River Power Station Near Coronach Coal
  • one 291 MW unit (1981)
  • one 291 MW unit (1983)
582 MW
Shand Power Station Near Estevan Coal
  • one 276 MW unit (1992)
276 MW
Queen Elizabeth Power Station Saskatoon Natural Gas
  • two 59 MW units (1958/59) (only one operationally available at a time)
  • one 95 MW unit (1972)
  • six 28 MW units (2002)
  • three 36 MW units (2010)
634 MW
Waterloo Hydroelectric Station Near Uranium City Hydroelectric
  • one 8 MW unit (1961)
8 MW
Wellington Hydroelectric Station Near Uranium City Hydroelectric
  • one 2.4 MW unit (1939)
  • one 2.4 MW unit (1959)
5 MW
Yellowhead Power Station North Battleford Natural Gas
  • three 46 MW units (2010)
138 MW

Long-term power purchase agreements[edit]

SaskPower has also entered into long-term power purchase agreements with privately owned facilities in the province.

Location Fuel Units net capacity (Date) Capacity (net MW) Link
NRGreen Alameda Heat Recovery Facility
(NRGreen Power)
Alameda Waste Heat
  • 1 generator (2008)
5 MW [9]
NRGreen Estlin Heat Recovery Facility
(NRGreen Power)
Estlin Waste Heat
  • 1 generator (2008)
5 MW [9]
NRGreen Kerrobert Heat Recovery Facility
(NRGreen Power)
Kerrobert Waste Heat
  • 1 generator (2006)
5 MW [9]
Red Lily Wind Facility
(Concorde Pacific)
Near Moosomin Wind Power
  • 16 Vestas V82 1.65 MW turbines
27 MW [10]
NRGreen Loreburn Heat Recovery Facility
(NRGreen Power)
Loreburn Waste Heat
  • 1 generator (2008)
5 MW [9]
Meridian Cogeneration Station
(TransAlta & Husky Oil )
Lloydminster Natural Gas
  • three 70 MW turbines
210 MW
Morse Wind Facility Morse Wind Power
  • ten 2.3 MW turbines (2015)
23 MW
North Battleford Generating Station
(Northland Power)
R.M. North Battleford Natural Gas
  • 170 MW gas turbine
  • 90 MW steam turbine
260 MW
Spy Hill Generating Station
(Northland Power)
Near Esterhazy Natural Gas
  • two 43 MW units
86 MW

SunBridge Wind Power Facility

(Suncor & Enbridge)

Near Swift Current Wind Power
  • 17 Vestas V47 660 kW turbines (2002)
11 MW

Rural electrification[edit]

SaskPower was founded by an Act of the provincial legislature as the Saskatchewan Power Commission in 1929. The purpose of the Commission was to research how best to create a provincial power system which would provide the province's residents with safe, reliable electric service.

A provincial power system was desirable for many reasons. In the early days of electricity in the province of Saskatchewan, electricity was largely unavailable outside of larger centres. Most electrical utilities were owned either privately or by municipalities, and none of them were interconnected. Because each utility operated independently, rates often varied significantly between communities – anywhere from 4[11] to 45[12] cents per kilowatt hour in the mid-1920s. The rapid growth in the province's population in the first decades of the century – from 91,279 to 757,510 within 20 years – had led to a sharp increase in the demand for electricity. Finally, the provincial government had determined that the lack of inexpensive power was hampering the development of industry in the province (Ref).

While the Commission began purchasing independently owned electrical utilities with the goal of interconnecting them, the economic situation of the 1930s and the labour shortage caused by the Second World War delayed the creation of a provincial power system for nearly two decades.

By 1948, the Commission operated 35 generating stations and more than 8,800 km of transmission lines. However, most farm families who had electricity generated it themselves using battery systems charged by wind turbines or gasoline- or diesel-powered generators. Across the province, only 1,500 farms were connected to the electrical grid, most of them because of their proximity to the lines that linked cities and larger towns.[13]

In 1949, by an Act of the Provincial Legislature, the Commission became the Saskatchewan Power Corporation. The first task of the new Corporation was to purchase what remained of the province's small, independent electrical utilities and to begin integrating them into a province-wide electrical grid.

The final step in creating a truly province-wide grid was to electrify the province's vast rural areas. The primary hurdle to rural electrification was the very low customer density in the province – approximately one farm customer per network mile (1.6 km) – and the extremely high cost of a network of the scale required by the vast distances between customers. After much study, the Corporation adopted a single wire ground return distribution scheme, which lowered the cost of rural electrification significantly.[14]

The first year of the program set the goal of connecting 1200 rural customers to the network. The experience gained during the first years led to an increased rate of connections every year, leading to a peak yearly connection rate in 1956 of 7,800 customers. By 1961, 58,000 farms were connected, and by 1966 when the program concluded, the Corporation had provided power to a total of 66,000 rural customers. In addition, hundreds of schools, churches and community halls received electrical service during this period.[14]

Corporate governance[edit]

SaskPower is governed by a Board of Directors that is responsible to the Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Power Corporation. Current directors of the corporation include: Chief Mike Marsh (Chair), Grant Ring, Brad Strom (Vice-Chair), Shawn Schmidt, Merin Coutts, Jim Hopson, Karri Howlett, John Hyshka, Phil Klein, Leslie Neufeld, Marvin Romanow, Tammy Van Lambalgen, Laura Wiebe and Dale Bloom (Corporate Secretary).

Unions representing SaskPower employees[edit]

  • IBEW Local 2067
  • Unifor Local 649


  1. ^ a b SaskPower & 2015-16 Annual Report, p. 98.
  2. ^ a b SaskPower & 2015-16 Annual Report, p. 99.
  3. ^ SaskPower & 2015-16 Annual Report, p. 2.
  4. ^ SaskPower & 2015-16 Annual Report, p. 132.
  5. ^ SaskPower & 2015-16 Annual Report, p. 27.
  6. ^ Champ, Joan (2001-12-04). "Rural Electrification in Saskatchewan During the 1950s" (PDF). Western Development Museum. Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  7. ^ Court Documents Describing Relationship between SaskPower and Swift Current Department of Light and Power
  8. ^ Saskatoon Light and Power
  9. ^ a b c d NRGreen, Baseload Thermal Stations (PDF), retrieved 2010-11-25
  10. ^ "Red Lily Wind Project now in service". SaskPower. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
  11. ^ White, Clinton O. Power for a Province: A History of Saskatchewan Power. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 1976. 8.
  12. ^ --. 14.
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b

Works cited[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  • Anderson, Dave. To Get the Lights: A Memoir about Farm Electrification in Saskatchewan. Victoria: Trafford, 2005.
  • White, Clinton O. Power for a Province: A History of Saskatchewan Power. Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, 1976.


External links[edit]