SaskPower has lined up its accounts for the next year, releasing its Primary Spending Budget of $1.6 billion. 

This money will be going in a few directions, including the continued upgrading of infrastructure, distribution, and generation assets. Other things like new generation in power station projects and expansions are also being included in the massive price tag for 2024-2025. 

Joel Cherry, a spokesperson for SaskPower, highlighted just how much bigger this budget is compared to the previous years, with a $450 million boost. 

"It's a big number," said Cherry. "That's things like the Regina Operations Maintenance Center for example, where we're starting on phase two of that project."

The money will see $710 million going into new generation. Aspen Power Station is a big part of that money as it gets underway, with other big factors including the Ermine and Yellowhead expansions in natural gas. 

Maintenance and upgrades to transmission, distribution and generation assets will eat up another $508 million for the Crown Corporation. Growth projects will be granted $311 million in this budget, with that allowing new customers to be connected to the grid. 

"Industrial customers take up a pretty large percentage of our total load in the province," said Cherry. "If a facility like a canola crushing facility or whatever comes on, they need power. We need to build transmission lines to support that and so that's the sort of thing that that money would go toward." 

There is also $67 million set aside for strategic investments, which include the likes of the Regina Operations Maintenance Centre. 

One of the big things announced for this summer was the Great Plains Power Station coming online. This station is similar to Chinook Power Station, which provides power in southwest Sask. 

"Another highlight is that we're bringing our first battery energy storage system online in Regina this year as well," said Cherry. "So lots of stuff going on."

In that trend of green energy solutions, the Bekevar Wind Energy Project near Kipling is expected to add 200 megawatts of renewable power to the Sask. grid. 

"We're adding a lot more wind and solar power when it's available," said Cherry. "It's cost-effective and obviously it has no emissions. We still need to invest in things like natural gas power stations to make sure we have reliable power available when wind and solar aren't available."

One of the projects that is going to continue across every region in Sask. is the rolling out of Smart Meters. While the current phase doesn't affect any southwest regions, it will eventually see the whole province updated to a more modern approach.

"We're going through the most dramatic transformation we ever have in our history as a company and that's going from primarily fossil fuel sources of power to non-emissions resources," said Cherry. "We also have to plan for growth, so investments like this are going to be necessary to make sure we can still provide that reliable power while becoming the power company of the future."