A record $272 million will go toward replacing and improving SaskPower’s aging transmission and distribution infrastructure.
In order to make this investment possible, the Saskatchewan government said it has approved a $50 million capital stimulus grant for the Crown corporation.
Officials said the grant will enable SaskPower to undertake additional electrical infrastructure sustainment work and fast-track current projects to be completed by the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“A stable and reliable power grid is crucial to ensure the safety and security of our electrical system and maintain a strong economy,” minister responsible for SaskPower Don Morgan said in a press release on Tuesday.
“Between 2014 and 2020, SaskPower invested more than $1 billion to maintain and improve its extensive transmission and distribution infrastructure in the province … to (maintain) a resilient electrical system.”
The record investment, for SaskPower, is a 62 per cent increase over the five-year average spend, government officials said.
According to a press release, the provincial government’s investment will result in the equivalent of 120 to 150 additional jobs over the course of the work being completed.
While the work will take place province-wide, officials noted regions that have been most significantly impacted by outages over the past half-decade including: Lumsden/Odessa area, North Battleford Rural area, Meadow Lake/Buffalo Narrows area, Melville/Yorkton area, Prince Albert Rural area, Regina area and Rosetown/Elrose/Beechy area.
Blizzard leaves icy mess across Saskatchewan highways, power outages in communities
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.