Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 14, 2015

Manitoba Announces New Agreement to Sell Hydro Power to Saskatchewan

Deal To Support Jobs, Include Construction of New Transmission Line from Birtle

A new, 20-year agreement signed between Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower will see a minimum of 100 megawatts of renewable hydroelectricity, equivalent to the electricity required to power 40,000 homes, flow from Manitoba to Saskatchewan beginning in 2020, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“This new agreement is good for Manitoba families and will help keep our economy growing,” Premier Selinger said.  “This sale will contribute to keeping our hydro rates low here at home, while exporting clean, renewable energy for years to come.” 

The sale will require 18 per cent of the energy generated from the under-construction Keeyask Generating Station on the Nelson River in northern Manitoba.  Approximately 750 people are at work on Keeyask, as the project continues to move ahead, the premier said.  Peak employment on the project is expected to reach approximately 1400 workers in the summers of 2016 and 2017.  The construction of Keeyask and Bipole will boost the provincial economy by more than $1.5 billion and will create 10,000 jobs (person employment years), he added.

The deal is the fourth in a series of large firm sales made possible by the construction of Keeyask.

“We are very pleased to be able to announce that we’ve agreed to the major terms of the sale with SaskPower.  We anticipate a final agreement in the next few months.” said Darren Rainkie, interim president and CEO, Manitoba Hydro.  “The energy we will supply to SaskPower is clean, renewable hydroelectricity that is surplus to the needs of Manitobans.  The revenues from the sale will assist in offsetting the costs of Keeyask and keep rates low for our customers in Manitoba.”

“SaskPower is very pleased with this purchase of hydroelectricity from Manitoba Hydro,” said Mike Marsh, president and CEO, SaskPower.  “As part of SaskPower’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions, we are continuing to invest in low-emitting and renewable resources.  This purchase of hydro power from Manitoba Hydro will continue our commitment to supplying our customers with cleaner and cost-effective electricity to power the future growth of our province.”

Manitoba Hydro can now celebrate export sales with neighboring jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada of $9 billion, Rainkie said, adding that over $4 billion of those contracts are directly dependent on Keeyask.

“Developing and selling clean renewable energy is great news for ratepayers,” Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson, minister responsible for Manitoba Hydro, said.  “I’m pleased that we are seeing the benefits of our long-term plan to protect the environment, keep our rates low, and provide quality jobs and training that benefit all Manitobans.”

The sale to SaskPower is a firm sale which requires Manitoba Hydro to have sufficient capacity available at all times and not to interrupt energy deliveries, if at all possible, Minister Robinson said.  For this reason, Manitoba Hydro and SaskPower will need to build a new 80-kilometre, 230,000-volt transmission line in western Manitoba between Birtle and Tantalon, Sask., to ensure energy deliveries can occur on a firm basis.  This new interconnection will also allow increased east-west trade in electricity and will improve system reliability in both provinces, another major benefit to both SaskPower and Manitoba Hydro customers, he added.

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The Province of Manitoba is distributing this release on behalf of Manitoba Hydro and the government of Manitoba.