City of Saskatoon Alternative Energy Initiatives
Status: Needs Improving
The City of Saskatoon requires electricity for our buildings and operations, and Saskatoon Light & Power distributes power to over 117,000 households in Saskatoon. Currently, almost all of this electricity comes from SaskPower and is generated using primarily non-renewable, carbon-intense energy sources including natural gas (44%) and coal (28%). Hydro (20%), wind (5%), and 'other' sources including solar (3%) make up the remainder of SaskPower's current energy mix.
To meet our 80% GHG emission reduction target, both the City and SaskPower must switch to renewable and zero-emissions energy. Generating renewable energy reduces GHG emissions, improves air quality, saves money over the long-term, and demonstrates leadership in our community.
Where are we now?
The City is working on a number of initiatives, including the development of a renewable energy strategy, to reduce energy use, switch fuel sources, and generate renewable electricity to meet its Low Emissions Community Plan targets and actions, including:
- Install 24MW of solar capacity by 2026 on municipal buildings;
- Install 20MW of utility-scale solar capacity by 2030, and 300MW by 2050;
- Install 6MW of hydropower at the weir, with an operational efficiency of 55% or greater by 2027; and
- Add 50MW of grid-tied electricity storage between 2025 and 2050.
What Are We Doing?
In 2020, the City's landfill gas collection and power generation facility extracted a total of 200,000,000 standard cubic feet of methane gas from the landfill. Of this total, 95% was utilized for electricity generation and 5% was destroyed within the facility's enclosed flare. Approximately 10,600 MWh of electricity is produced annually as a result of power generation from landill gas.
The City of Saskatoon is in the planning stage of developing a 2.2 MW solar farm within city limits. The project - led by Saskatoon Light & Power - will generate enough energy to power 330 homes and reduce GHG emissions by 450 tonnes CO2e annually. Design and installation are scheduled for 2022, with the solar farm expected to be fully operational in 2023. The completion of the project is an important first step to expanding the City's generation of renewable energy.
Saskatoon Light & Power partnered with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society Solar Co-operativethe first power generation co-operative in the province and Saskatchewan Polytechnic to create a solar photovoltaic (PV) demonstration site. Located at the City's Landfill Gas Power Generation Facility, the demonstration site consists of four ground-mount arrays, with a total of 92 solar panels and 30.7 kilowatts of generation capacity.
Civic Centre Solar Heating
Since 2010, the City has been using solar energy to help heat the pools at Lawson Civic Centre and Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre. Each system is estimated to provide 25% of the annual pool heating requirements.
Combined Heat and Power
In 2015, the City installed combined heat and power (CHP) systems at Shaw and Lakewood Civic Centres. CHP units produce electricity using natural gas, and recover waste heat to be used inside the building. The systems are energy efficient and reduce GHG emissions for the buildings.
Biogas Capture and Use at Wastewater Treatment Plant
At the Saskatoon Wastewater Treatment Plant, the digestion of solids removed in the wastewater treatment process creates the by-product biogas. The plant’s biogas is captured and used as a fuel for the boilers to heat the many buildings and the digesters on-site. By using the energy from biogas, the Wastewater Treatment Plant reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and saves money in heating costs. The use of biogas for electrical generation is also being investigated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant as part of the City's ongoing environmental commitment.
What Can You Do?
Consider alternative energy for your home or business. For example, solar energy systems generate clean, reliable power using FREE fuel (i.e., the Sun) – without producing pollution or CO2 emissions.
Did You Know?
SaskPower has set ambitious targets for transitioning to renewable and low emissions energy, and has set a goal of reducing GHG emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030 with a long-term objective of achieving net zero by 2050.