SaskPower Correcting the Record Feels Like Lying

Letter: carbon capture project doesn't double cost of electricity

Mike Marsh, president and CEO of Sask-Power, writes:
…The technology at Boundary Dam is the first of its kind and, as with other technologies, we expect the price to drop as it develops. The BD3 CCS project is on track to meet our goal of capturing 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2016 – equal to taking over 200,000 cars off our roads.

People are using more electricity than before and we need to expand our fleet. We also need to invest in costlier forms of generation to meet challenges presented by climate change and record growth. These types of investment will impact rates, but to suggest CCS doubles rates is simply false.

SaskPower never had commitment to sell 100 per cent of C02 to Cenovus

They were spreading misinformation about solar power just the other week. This is the organization whose VP told me solar wouldn’t be cost effective for utilities in the “northern hemisphere”, as Spain already had a utility solar plant in production, and many more have since been built all over North America.

ADDED:

SaskPower was just “required to supply a minimum volume of CO2 to Cenovus, with Cenovus having the option to buy 100 per cent of production”, Wall’s office said, adding the contract was renegotiated and that Watson’s 2013 comments “were aspirational at the time, not reflective of the contract that was signed in the end.”

In no small irony, this information came to the Leader-Post the same day the newspaper ran a letter to the editor from current SaskPower president and CEO Mike Marsh, who felt he needed to “correct the record” on “misinformation about the cost of carbon capture and storage.”

One response to “SaskPower Correcting the Record Feels Like Lying

  1. Previously:

    “Last Updated Tuesday, October 27, 2015 10:34AM CST

    The Saskatchewan government has had to pay out about $12 million to an energy company for failing to deliver enough carbon dioxide from its carbon capture facility.

    Worse, that amount might go up.

    (SaskPower unveiled the world’s first large-scale coal-fired power plant with carbon capture and storage at Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan on Oct. 2, 2014.)

    SaskPower was supposed to start delivering the captured CO2 from the plant in April 2014, but the $1.4-billion carbon capture facility wasn’t ready until October that year.

    SaskPower CEO Mike Marsh said that means penalties were incurred.

    “So if the plant’s not operating and CO2 cannot be produced, then we have an obligation to pay under the contract,” he said.

    The plant is currently only at 40 per cent generating capacity.

    “We’re working through design and technical issues every week, our operating staff are working through them, every week and every month, and performance is getting better and better and better,” he said.

    However, he added they may owe Cenovus another $5 million or $6 million by the end of this year.

    “In the original budget we were certainly anticipating that the power station and the carbon capture facility would be on several months earlier,” he explained. “Certainly we weren’t forecasting a large deficit or payment to Cenovus because we couldn’t make the volume commitments, but it did happen and it’s part of the contract, it’s part of normal business.”

    Marsh said the plant produced 400,000 tonnes of CO2 over the past year — well below its capacity to produce one million tonnes.

    He also said the utility is trying to get some of the $12 million back from the company that was responsible for the construction delays.

    In the end, SaskPower expects overall to bring in revenue on CO2 sales that compensates for the payment to Cenovus.”

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