Ottawa funds Cowessess solar power project with $5.2M

·1 min read

Thanks to some federal funding announced Wednesday, a solar power project owned by Cowessess First Nation can generate some buzz for SaskPower.

Ottawa announced in a media release that it is to fund the community’s Awasis Solar Project with $5.2 million.

A portion of the money ($1.7 million) will go to SaskPower for connecting the solar panels to the provincial power grid. The remaining $3.5 million will be for implementing the project and paid to Cowessess First Nation. The solar panel grid is located in the Rural Municipality of Edenwold, southeast of Regina.

Cowessess Chief Cadmus Delorme was unavailable for comment.

In the media release, Delorme said his community “strives to be an economic self-sustaining partner in the growth of the province and country."

The federal dollars help to achieve that goal, he said: “As the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action provide us all direction to bridge the gap, Cowessess First Nation will help this province and country in renewable energy to assure our seven generations ahead may have a sustainable place to call home."

Once completed and operational, the Awasis solar panel grid will contribute 10 megawatts to the provincial power grid, through SaskPower. The Crown Corporation says Cowessess will sell it the power generated from the panels.

Ten megawatts can power approximately 10,000 homes. But solar power, as an intermittent source, still needs a backup supply, like natural gas or geothermal heat.

The cash is coming from Ottawa’s Investing in Canada fund. The pot has $31.1 million earmarked for Saskatchewan.

Evan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post