SaskPower, like much of the country, is in the midst of a clean energy transition, driven by changing customer expectations, increased electrification of various technologies, and an increased demand from a growing province.

Today, approximately two-thirds of SaskPower’s total generation capacity is from fossil fuels (with 24% of total system capacity coming from conventional coal-fired generation), and between the current federal mandate requiring all conventional coal-fired generation to be retired by 2030 and the increasing carbon tax, there is a significant challenge ahead of us to continue providing Saskatchewan with reliable, cost-effective power. As a member of the Atlantic Clean Energy Alliance, SaskPower is looking to learn from other regions undergoing similar challenges and opportunities related to our collective sustainable energy transition.

SaskPower is meeting this challenge head-on through the pursuit of a wide range of low- and non-emitting power sources, including expanded interconnections with neighbouring jurisdictions, increased solar and wind generation, utility-scale energy storage, and nuclear power from small modular reactors (SMRs).

Unlike many other parts of Canada, Saskatchewan’s geography doesn’t allow for abundant hydroelectric potential, and so the task to replace carbon-emitting generation sources with reliable and cost-effective clean options is a significant undertaking.

In 2019, the provinces of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the advancement of a pan-Canadian deployment of SMRs. And since signing the MOU, SaskPower has worked closely with colleagues at NB Power on a number of topics like technology evaluation and others to gain insight as to what it is to be a licenced nuclear operator.

SaskPower’s SMR development and planning project is in its early stages, but in the almost three years of work thus far, a number of significant milestones have been reached. In June 2022, SaskPower selected a technology, the GE Hitachi BWRX-300, and in September of this year, the Estevan and Elbow areas were selected for further study for siting a potential reactor. This followed NB Power selecting two SMR technologies, the ARC-100 and the Moltex SSR-W, for its site location in Point Lepreau.

SaskPower’s final decision whether to proceed with nuclear power from SMRs won’t happen until 2029, but in order to enable that decision, a substantial amount of planning and regulatory work must be done now.

Collaborating with NB Power and benefiting from the expertise they hold has been invaluable as SaskPower proceeds with the necessary work to potentially deploy nuclear power in Saskatchewan. Learning from experienced nuclear operators like NB Power will help SaskPower navigate the intricate licencing and regulatory path ahead.

The relationship SaskPower has with NB Power is a strong one. Earlier this year, representatives from Saskatchewan were able to visit the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station and tour the CANDU facility. Through working together, SaskPower and NB Power have been able to share information and learn from one another.

Having an open, transparent, and meaningful dialogue with Saskatchewan on the province’s power future, which includes the potential for nuclear power, is a priority for SaskPower, and since announcing the two study areas, the utility has undertaken an extensive engagement campaign, meeting with Indigenous Rightsholders, urban and rural municipalities, businesses, and the public, which will continue throughout the life of the SMR project.

SaskPower has initiated the formal provincial Duty to Consult framework to consult with Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan. First Nations and Metis people are the stewards of the land, and consulting with these individuals and communities is critical.

SaskPower is dedicated to meeting with its customers through various means to share information, understand concerns, and answer questions about the potential for nuclear power. A virtual open house that featured expert speakers was recently held which sought to provide an update on the SMR planning project and to help answer questions around nuclear power in Canada.

Education and understanding are key when imagining what’s possible in our clean energy transition.

Saskatchewan shares many similarities with New Brunswick. SaskPower and NB Power’s collaboration throughout Saskatchewan’s SMR development work has been extremely valuable, and it’s clear that the future for both provinces is bright, and SaskPower looks forward to continuing this unique relationship for many years to come.

For more information on SaskPower’s SMR development and planning project, visit .

Established in 1929, SaskPower is Saskatchewan’s leading energy supplier. We are defined by our commitment to support economic growth and enhance quality of life in our province. Our corporate mission: ensuring reliable, sustainable and cost[1]effective power for our customers and the communities we serve.

SaskPower’s team is made up of over 3,000 permanent full-time employees. We manage over $12 billion in generation, transmission, distribution and other assets. Our company operates seven natural gas stations, three coal-fired power stations, seven hydroelectric stations, and two wind facilities. Combined, they generate 3,968 MW of electricity. SaskPower also buys power from various independent power producers. Our company’s total available generation capacity is 5,246 MW. We are responsible for serving nearly 550,000 customer accounts within Saskatchewan’s geographic area of approximately 652,000 square kilometres (km). About three customer accounts are served per circuit km. We maintain over 157,000 circuit km of power lines, 57 high voltage switching stations and 196 distribution substations.