Cowessess First Nation has become the first energy developer in Saskatchewan to create a utility-scale combined solar and wind power site in Saskatchewan with the successful commissioning of a solar power addition to its Cowessess Renewable Energy Storage Facility on reserve status land two kilometers east of Regina.
“Cowessess is proud to extend its leadership in Saskatchewan renewable energy development with its commissioning of this solar project.” says Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme. “This project will increase Cowessess capacity as our Nation looks to expand our business interests in areas of energy development, commercial land development and healthcare.”
The solar installation is fully integrated with the existing wind turbine battery storage infrastructure to create the first known hybrid wind-solar-battery storage project in Canada. SkyFire Energy supplied and installed the solar power equipment, which is integrated with the Enercon E53 wind turbine and Saft lithium-ion battery storage system on site.
The 340kW solar power system has been included within Cowessess’s existing 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with SaskPower. Cowessess also installed 57kW of solar capacity under the SaskPower Net Metering Program to offset power usage by the site office and project site.
“This project will add up to 400 kilowatts of clean, renewable generation to the grid and also provide us with real-life data on how a hybrid renewable generation system works on our system,” said Doug Opseth, Director of Generation Asset Management and Planning. “We congratulate Cowessess for all of its hard work on this innovative project.”
The solar project has been financed through Cowessess equity from wind project revenues and debt financing from the First Nations Bank of Canada, with funding contributions from Western Economic Diversification Canada and Indigenous Services Canada. Cowessess developed the project with continued technical support from Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) and McNair Business Development (McNair).
“Since 2006, SRC has been supporting Cowessess on this project and has since successfully demonstrated the ability of energy storage to create reliable power from intermittent wind sources,” Craig Murray, Vice-President of Mining and Minerals at SRC said. “With the addition of solar power, Cowessess has built a renewable energy and storage test facility that will provide long-term and widely sought after technical insights, as well as positive economic and environmental impacts for the First Nation.”
Cowessess First Nation is located along the beautiful Qu’Appelle Valley, 15 kilometers north of Broadview, Saskatchewan. Cowessess First Nation has 4200 citizens, 900 of which live on the home reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley. Cowessess First Nation owns over 100,000 acres of land in Saskatchewan, with key land holdings in and around major urban centers such as Regina, Saskatoon and Yorkton. The urban land holdings are targeted for economic development opportunities, such as this Renewable Energy Storage Facility just outside of Regina. Cowessess First Nation is pleased to be building our business portfolio and looks forward to more opportunities for investment and growth in the future. Our long-term goal is to create self-sustainability through our economic ventures.