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Ottawa criticizes Saskatchewan after reopening of coal-fired power plant

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan22,2024

Ottawa criticizes Saskatchewan after reopening of coal-fired power plant

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Unit 4 of the Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant was also temporarily operational last summer, when the Poplar River plant near of Coronach, was under repair. (Archive photo)

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The government of Saskatchewan is facing criticism from Ottawa after Unit 4 of the Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant reopened this week due to cold weather. The Ministry of the Environment accuses Premier Scott Moe of “fear-mongering” in his comments surrounding this decision.

In an email sent Wednesday, a SaskPower spokesperson attributed the reopening to increased demand for electricity due to the extreme cold snap that hit the Prairies for a week.

According to SaskPower, Unit 4, which has been operating since Sunday, will be in operation for approximately one more week. When in service, it can produce 60 megawatts and thus provide electricity to the equivalent of “60,000 Saskatchewan homes”.

However, in a publication announcing the reopening of the unit on the social network We will not attempt the impossible in connection with the production of electricity in our province.

Going net zero by 2035 is not only impossible, it is irresponsible because it would leave families in Saskatchewan and across the country out in the cold and in the dark, says the premier.

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In an email sent Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change responds that the regulations proposed by Ottawa to support Saskatchewan in its transition to carbon neutrality “would never prevent” the provinces from ;have access to a reliable source of electricity.

Charging in progressMinister Fitzgibbon clarifies his intentions to meet electricity demand

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: Minister Fitzgibbon clarifies his intentions to meet electricity demand

We have made proposals so that fossil fuel power plants can operate without carbon capture in high-demand or emergency situations, it says.

The spokesperson also maintains that the draft regulation would also allow gas-fired power plants to operate if they are equipped with carbon capture technologies.

The Prime Minister Scott Moe […] [prefers] to sow fear rather than work collaboratively on solutions for cleaner air and good jobs.

According to SaskPower, electricity production at Unit 4 of the Boundary Dam generating station will be suspended during 2024, when the Great Plains natural gas generating station in Moose Jaw is opened.

The state-owned company emphasizes that it could temporarily restart production in the unit after suspending its activities during periods of exceptional demand or to strengthen the network provincial electric.

The SaskPower spokesperson points out that because Unit 4 is the oldest at Boundary Dam, the restart process takes longer. He says it normally takes 48 hours to start the systems and fill them with water and coal.

Coal-fired power plant restarts in Estevan. BROADCAST HERE FIRST. Today's update.

Restart of a coal-fired power plant in Estevan

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Listen audio (Restart of a coal-fired power plant in Estevan. 13 minutes 48 seconds)

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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