Cowessess boasts major solar power installation
- EFN Staff | October 14, 2018
A First Nation community in southern Saskatchewan has made history as they became the first energy developer in the province. Cowessess First Nation, with support from the Government of Canada, SaskPower and Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), recently announced on October 10th, the completion of a major solar power installation at the Cowessess Renewable Energy Storage Facility located outside Regina.
The solar power installation to Cowessess Renewable Energy Storage Facility is to create a utility-scale combined solar and wind power site in Saskatchewan with the successful commissioning of a solar power addition to its Cowessess Renewable Energy Storage Facility on reserve status land.
“Cowessess is proud to extend its leadership in Saskatchewan renewable energy development with its commissioning of this solar project,” said Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme in a media release. “This project will increase Cowessess capacity as our Nation looks to expand our business interests in areas of energy development, commercial land development and healthcare.”
According to the release, the solar installation is fully integrated with the existing wind turbine battery storage infrastructure to create the first known hybrid wind-solar-battery storage project in Canada. SkyFire Energy supplied and installed the solar power equipment, which is integrated with the Enercon E53 wind turbine and Saft lithium-ion battery storage system on site.
The 340kW solar power system has been included within Cowessess’s existing 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with SaskPower. Cowessess also installed 57kW of solar capacity under the SaskPower Net Metering Program to offset power usage by the site office and project site.
“This project will add up to 400 kilowatts of clean, renewable generation to the grid and also provide us with real-life data on how a hybrid renewable generation system works on our system,” said Doug Opseth, Director of Generation Asset Management and Planning.
Thanks to the Cowessess equity from wind project revenues and debt financing from the First Nations Bank of Canada, this solar project was made possible. Cowessess developed the project with continued technical support from SRC and McNair Business Development (McNair).
“Since 2006, SRC has been supporting Cowessess on this project and has since successfully demonstrated the ability of energy storage to create reliable power from intermittent wind sources,” said Craig Murray, SRC Vice-President of Mining and Minerals. “With the addition of solar power, Cowessess has built a renewable energy and storage test facility that will provide long-term and widely sought after technical insights, as well as positive economic and environmental impacts for the First Nation.”