Many in the southeast were disappointed when SaskPower announced that their new 10mw solar power facility was going to be built near Swift Current, instead of Estevan.
"This process was initiated I believe, in 2016," explained Executive Director for the Estevan Chamber of Commerce, Jackie Wall. "At that time when we had heard that this process was being initiated, the Chamber did push our resources into action and we started a letter-writing campaign. We got a lot of letters from the community just explaining that we've been a longtime partner with SaskPower, there's a lot of investment already in the Estevan area, and it would be a great opportunity to expand into that especially as coal is being phased out."
"We have some of the best sun hours out of any city in the province. We thought it was an absolutely great fit so we started the letter-writing campaign and we got a lot of responses from individuals in the community and companies in the community and we did what we could to try and push this into our area. Obviously, it was not successful. But this was a competitive procurement so this wasn't entirely all of SaskPower's decision, I don't believe."
"Obviously it was their decision on who to go with but it was Saturn Power that was settling forth their proposal and that's how SaskPower evaluated this."
"So the news was not in our favour but at the same time, they are going to be expanding in this area and perhaps we can really push to get a future project in this area."
SaskPower is preparing for their next competitive process for another 10mw project which they are hoping to launch in 2019.
"I think because it is a competitive procurement situation, we have to take a look at the companies that could possibly be setting forth proposals to SaskPower. Because ultimately those companies are probably the ones that are choosing the location."
"We do have the economic development coordinator now. We are on the board of that committee and of course, we will be discussing this at the next committee meeting and we can see how we can get mobilized to be a better choice for the 2019 process."
"We have to get some information, and we have to get some contacts together and start selling Estevan as the solar capital of Saskatchewan. We are the Energy City so adding solar is just a really nice compliment to what we already have here."
There are plans in the works right now for a geothermal facility to be built in the Torquay area.
"We have multiple ways that we can produce energy in this area and we have a lot of advantages so we just need to capitalize on that and communicate that to the key stakeholders involved."