A new renewable wind energy project is set to be built southeast of Weyburn. Up to one hundred million dollars in loan guarantees will be provided by the Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation (SIIFC).  

Enbridge Inc has partnered with six Indigenous and Metis partners to take on this project, SaskPower is working with them to advance the project through a power purchase agreement.  

Dustin Duncan, MLA and Minister Responsible for SaskPower, speaks on SaskPower’s and the province’s involvement in this project.  

“At this point, those negotiations are still ongoing, but as a provincial government, what we have said is that through the Saskatchewan Indigenous Financing Corporation, the province would provide a loan guarantee of up to $100 million so that when these First Nations and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan go to seek their financing, they have basically that loan guarantee that they can take to a financial institution to be able to secure their portion of the equity project.” 

An important aspect of this project is the expected benefits for Indigenous and Metis people. 

“Should the project proceed, should we have a signed power purchase agreement, and should Enbridge continue forward with their partnership with those six organizations, that would translate into up to 30% of the project being owned by those five First Nations and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. Any revenue that would be coming back to what is known as Seven Stars, the project name, then those First Nations and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan would receive a financial benefit, which would be then used in their communities to improve the quality of life for those First Nations and the Metis.” 

Benefits are also expected to extend to Weyburn and the surrounding area through employment opportunities and land usage outside town.  

“There would be some local employment generated, not only during construction likely, but also during the operation of it. So, Enbridge, the proponent of the project, would have to have a number of people that would be employed to continue with the maintenance and the operation of the project.” 

“I think it would also have a benefit for the local rural municipalities in which the wind project itself would be built on, because there would be the associated taxes that would go to the municipality.” 

SaskPower views this project as a boost to their commitments for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and up to 3000MW of wind and solar power generation by 2035. 

“Part of our plan to get to a net zero state for our electricity by 2050 is the incorporation of renewable energy, including wind energy. This project would amount to 200 megawatts towards getting to our goal. We've set out a goal of 3000 megawatts of new wind and solar generation by 2035. We are relying on the private sector to do that, so SaskPower's role in all of this is basically to purchase the energy that's produced.” 

Duncan says it took a number of years to decide on the location of the wind project, and Weyburn demonstrated a good wind resource.  

“They've determined that a good wind resource does exist in the Weyburn area and so they've been doing their due diligence, not only in terms of building that relationship with those First Nations and the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, but ultimately in determining where the best place for their wind project is in the Weyburn area.” 

“I think the Weyburn area prides itself on being an important part of the energy industry in this province, and wind energy is another phase for our area in terms of this.”