Saskatoon to Pursue Hydropower Project with Possible Paddling Feature

By Water Canada 07:31AM March 13, 2017



Read Later

The City of Saskatoon is preparing to enter a formal agreement with the Saskatoon Tribal Council for a new hydropower generation project at the Saskatoon Weir.

The total estimated cost of the project is $61.5 – 65.2 million, which is expected to be funded by the Saskatoon Tribal Council and private-sector partners, off-set by revenue generated by the power station and funding from other green-energy funding sources.

“The Saskatoon Weir is an ideal location for expanding the City’s clean-power generation program to hydropower,” said Kevin Hudson, manager of Sustainable Energy for the City-owned Saskatoon Light & Power. “The benefits of this initiative will be felt across the Saskatoon Region and we are delighted to have the Saskatoon Tribal Council as a partner to make it a reality.”

Proposed hydro project on the South Saskatchewan River, courtesy City of Saskatoon.

The project has been discussed since 2009, and in 2010 feasibility studies, a proposal to incorporate a recreational whitewater park for paddlers was also investigated. The recreational project was deemed feasible, and the CBC has reported that with the power generation facility approved, the recreational project cost would lower from the initially projected $14 million to $3 million. Proponents of the recreational paddling feature will present the case for the coordinated development of the recreational feature in tandem with progress on the hydropower project.

Saskatoon Whitewater Park

Proposed hydro project with addition of recreational paddling features, courtesy City of Saskatoon.

Earlier pre-feasibility and environmental baseline studies concluded the project was technically feasible and could be economically viable over the long-term without any significant disruption to the ecology of the area or negative downstream effects to the river valley. The project has been on hold since last presented to City Council in 2015 until funding could be identified.

“First Nations can benefit from employment, training, and education opportunities that extend beyond the construction phase of this project,” said Darrell Balkwill, chair of STC Investments Inc. “We are confident that the investment returns from this project will allow us to continue to support community infrastructure and social programs in our member communities.”

The project will involve restoring the weir’s current infrastructure, and the construction of a river crossing for pedestrians and cyclists that will be wider, safer, and more accessible than the current one on the CP Rail Bridge.

For more details and preliminary renderings of the hydropower station and site, visit

Would you recommend this article?

Suggested News Articles

News, Western CanadaNov. 02, 2017
Read Later

Mikisew Cree First Nation: Site C Impact on Peace River Violates Treaty 8

The British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) inquiry into the Site C hydroelectric project heard strong objections to the project from Mikisew Cree First Nation with respect to the ecological impact of…
News, OntarioOct. 19, 2017
Read Later

OPG Installs New Spillway & Generator at Ranney Falls

Yesterday, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) announced the installation of a new water spillway to improve safety and replacement of the smallest generator at its historic Ranney Falls Generating Station in…
News, Western CanadaApr. 20, 2017
Read Later

Report Finds Weak Business Case for Site C Hydroelectric

The University of British Columbia’s Program on Water Governance has released a new report that suggests that continuing with the Site C hydroelectric project will cost ratepayers approximately $1.5 billion…