SaskPower announced this morning their decision not to outfit Boundary Dam 4 and Boundary Dam 5 with carbon capture and storage technology.
"SaskPower's business case," shared Minister Responsible for SaskPower, and Minister of the Environment, Dustin Duncan, "shows that installing CCS on Boundary Dam's Units 4 and 5 will cost more than when compared to natural gas-fired plant because of the low cost of natural gas prices."
"In addition to retrofitting these facilities with CCS, there would be substantial costs to refurbish the existing power generation facilities at BD4 and 5. These are smaller units in SaskPower's fleet that are nearing the end of their useful lives. Federal regulations are forcing SaskPower to either retrofit or retire these units."
"Because of this combination of factors, there simply isn't a business case for CCS at Boundary Dam 4 and Boundary Dam 5."
However, Duncan added that coal will remain an important part of power generation in Saskatchewan, as will CCS.
"CCS is vital to achieving climate change goals here in Canada and around the world."
"This also doesn't mean that Units 4 and 5 will stop producing power right away. We're working very hard to reach an equivalency agreement with the federal government and expect one will be reached soon. This will allow for BD4 and 5 retirements in 2021 and 2024 respectively rather than the federal regulations forcing both units to retire at the end of 2019."
There are around 40 positions at the facilities and Duncan does not expects layoffs.
"A high-level feasibility study has begun to determine whether or not we should begin to move forward with CCS on the Shand Power Station."
"The carbon capture and storage project at Boundary Dam has captured over 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide since its startup. SaskPower is proud of the important work that it has done on advancing CCS technology which can help the world reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"These aren't easy decisions to make but SaskPower must balance reliability and cost when planning the power future of our province."