Saskatchewan has an equivalency agreement with the federal government

The provincial and federal governments have come together on an equivalency agreement that should extend the life of Units 4 and 5 at the Boundary Dam Power Station.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in Regina during a press conference on Friday afternoon, confirmed the long-discussed agreement for SaskPower.

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If the agreement receives final approval, it will allow Units 4 and 5 at Boundary Dam to remain open until 2021 and 2024, respectively. Without the agreement, the two units would have to close in 2019.

SaskPower announced last year that it would not retrofit those two units with carbon capture and storage technology.

“I think we all understand that we need to phase out (conventional) coal as an energy source, and we’ll be doing that by 2030,” said Trudeau. “But it’s also extremely important that we’re supporting the workers and their families who are in that industry now.”

An equivalency agreement would allow the Crown corporation to spread the emissions reductions from carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects, like Boundary Dam Unit 3, across its fleet. Current regulations consider individual coal-burning units individually, and require they be shut down or upgraded to CCS after 50 years of operation.

The terms of the agreement were published by the feds recently.

The federal government’s plan to phase out coal power by 2030 does not apply to Unit 3 at Boundary Dam, due to the use of carbon capture and storage technology.

Next week’s edition of the Mercury will have much more on this story.

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