Potentia opens office

Potentia Renewables has opened an office in Assiniboia in anticipation of being given the green light on its proposed local wind and solar projects. The community had an opportunity to learn more about these projects at the Assiniboia and District Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Lunch and Learn speaker series on October 26. The lunch event was sponsored by Heartland Insurance, B&A Petroleum and Harvey’s Home Centre and the lunch was prepared by Nash’s Restaurant.
A huge gathering from the business community came out to hear about a potential solar energy project from Dan Cox, Business Manager for Potentia Renewables. Potentia, which took over the Sequoia company, is already involved in a bid to bring a wind energy project to the Assiniboia area. Cox reminded the gathering that he was in Assiniboia last year in November to present information about wind development. That bidding process has progressed and he updated the gathering on this project bid.
Potentia has qualified as one of 15 companies on the wind project that has been asked to bid to supply up to 225 MW of power, Cox announced. He explained that bidding in renewables is hugely competitive. Assiniboia has a chance to succeed in the wind project because it has a stable and consistent wind supply.
For the proposed Potentia solar project, there is a wide scope of criteria that those in the bid process must meet. In addition to competitive pricing, community engagement is high on the list and that is why Potentia makes it a point to make presentations to groups like the Chamber of Commerce and Town Council. Other criteria include an environmental study to ensure proposed projects won’t be built on sites important to wildlife. The Assiniboia Solar Energy Project has had a preliminary environmental assessment, which concluded that no significant impacts or constraints are anticipated for the project. They also have to conduct heritage studies to make sure a proposed project does not disturb or build on a historical site. They also have to meet Saskatchewan noise regulations.
The proposed 10 MW solar project would be located on SW 01-08-30 W2 Ext 0 owned by the Town of Assiniboia. The solar technology used is a solar photovoltaic ground mount that would see 18 large solar panels set up on 102 acres. Power generated by this approximately $20 million project is expected to go into the Assiniboia Substation distribution network. The solar project is expected to be operational for 20 years, the life cycle of the panels. Construction is expected to start in 2018 if the bid is successful.
Cox noted that the Town of Assiniboia and the RM of Lake of the Rivers have been very cooperative with their support of the projects. Both the town and RM would benefit from the project through the generation of local employment. Cox stated that Potentia plans to acquire as much labour and materials as possible for the projects’ construction, installation and maintenance. Electrical, gravel and concrete are just some of the materials needed. The construction phase alone would involve 300-500 people working on the site. The installation is highly specialized, says Cox, but the company hopes to tap into the region if materials and specialized labour are not available.
Renewables are about to take off in Saskatchewan. Federal government policies of the environment and the winding down of coal mining bode well for the renewable energy industry. This solar power project bid will be a first for SaskPower. SaskPower itself is planning to spend up to $1 billion to upgrade infrastructure with a goal of obtaining half of its power from renewables by 2030.  
Potentia Renewables is an independent power producer focused on developing, owning and operating solar photovoltaic energy systems for rooftop and ground installations, as well as wind energy systems in Canada, the U.S. and other jurisdictions. Potentia’s technology delivers solar and wind-powered electricity into local energy mix enabling communities to reduce their reliance on fossil-based fuels.
Potentia Renewables is well-capitalized and benefits from the strong financial backing of investors committed to its long-term success. It is 100 per cent owned by Power Energy Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.
The majority of the world’s electricity supply continues to be generated from fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. However, these traditional energy sources face a number of challenges including price volatility, security concerns over dependence on imported oil, and environmental repercussions. Renewable energy sources have emerged as real alternatives which address some of these concerns and governments around the world are creating policies to encourage the uptake of renewables.
Solar power has emerged as the most rapidly growing renewable sources of electricity generation and is posied to comprise a significant portion of the world’s energy mix. Solar energy is an efficient and renewable power source. Unlike fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, the world doesn’t need to worry about running out of solar energy. Solar power is playing an important role in increasing the security of the global energy supply. Solar panels, once properly installed, require very little maintenance. There is no noise emitted from the generation of solar power.

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