SaskEnergy announces a project toward its continued commitment of reducing emissions in its operations. The provincial gas utility has converted its Town Border Station in southwest Regina to generate solar power as part of its commitment to cut emissions.

The Regina station is the first of several such facilities across Saskatchewan that will be converted to generate solar power over the next seven years. The increased use of renewable electricity is one of the pillars of SaskEnergy’s emissions-reduction roadmap.

“This project is a major step in SaskEnergy’s goal to achieve a 35 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030,” said Don Morgan, Minister Responsible for SaskEnergy. “SaskEnergy is also focused on reducing the amount of vented natural gas, optimizing its operating practices, and improving the efficiency of its compressors and other infrastructure.”

The conversion of the Regina station to solar power—which included the installation of 176 solar panels—was completed this week. During the day, the panels will capture enough solar energy to power the station, as well as generate excess energy that will be put onto the province’s power grid. At night, the station will take power from the grid, through a net metering agreement with SaskPower.

“Over the course of a year, we expect that the station’s net electrical usage from the province’s power grid will balance out to zero,” SaskEnergy’s Acting President and CEO Mark Guillet said. “This project visibly demonstrates SaskEnergy’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and it’s just one of the ways we plan to reduce our environmental impact over the next several years.”

The new solar power system at the Regina station has a total generation capacity of nearly 80,000 watts—enough to power the station’s lighting and electric heat, as well as the equipment that controls the station’s odourization and distribution of natural gas to homes and businesses in Regina.

Installation of the system was completed by Saskatoon-based miEnergy—a majority Indigenous-owned business and one of Western Canada’s leading renewable energy companies.

SaskEnergy is also exploring ways to use technology to capture more vented gas from its operations.

One such project—implementing new technology that captures vented natural gas from SaskEnergy’s transmission compressors, redirecting it into the engine air intake for use as a supplemental fuel—won a national environmental stewardship award last year from the Canadian Gas Association.