The Government of Canada is returning some C$174 million ($128.8 million) of carbon pollution pricing proceeds through the Future Electricity Fund to advance a handful of clean electricity projects being undertaken by SaskPower.
The province of Saskatchewan is expected to use the money to implement new smart meter technologies and support upgrades to electricity infrastructure through the Distribution Rural Rebuild and Improvement Program. Funding will also contribute to refurbishing the E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station.
The Smart Meter Deployment Project is intended to support electrical grid modernisation and improve grid reliability and resilience by deploying smart meter technologies to residential homes across the province. Smart meter deployment would provide ratepayers with greater access to energy consumption data to help modify behaviors and reduce overall energy consumption. Meters would provide SaskPower with real-time electricity consumption and power outage updates, thereby eliminating much of the need for physical travel and the associated greenhouse gases.
The Distribution Rural Rebuild and Improvement Program is designed to see aging rural electrical distribution infrastructure rebuilt by moving lines out of farm fields and into public right of ways, as well as by replacing infrastructure that is in poor condition. Energy and demand savings would be achieved by reducing line losses.
The E.B. Campbell Unit 1 to 6 Life Extension is intended to improve the reliability and resilience of Saskatchewan’s electric grid by extending the life and increasing the efficiency of the E.B. Campbell Hydroelectric Station. Life extension and infrastructure improvements would allow for an increase in consistent renewable energy generation to be supplied into the system, thereby offsetting and reducing other carbon-emitting generation.
The Future Electricity Fund is comprised of proceeds collected from electricity-generating facilities covered by the federal Output-Based Pricing System. These proceeds are being returned through funding agreements with provincial or territorial governments where the federal carbon pollution pricing system for industry currently applies, or applied in the past, to support clean electricity initiatives.
The Output-Based Pricing System is a regulatory trading system for industry under Canada’s carbon pollution pricing system. The system sets performance standards for a wide range of industrial products. Each industrial facility receives an emissions limit calculated and based on relevant standards and its level of production. Facilities that emit above their limit must pay the price. Those below their limit get credits they can sell or save to use later. This arrangement is intended to create a financial incentive for the least-efficient facilities to reduce their emissions per unit of output, and for strong performers to continue to improve.
The Government of Canada committed to return proceeds collected from the Output-Based Pricing System to jurisdictions of origin.
Originally published on Power-Grid International.