Power Your Future

Canada’s First Wind, Solar, Battery Storage Facility

Cowessess Wind Development Ltd. (CWDL) was established in January 2012. This business operates a one MW Renewable Energy Generation Facility located 3 km SE of Regina. The facility includes an 800kW Enercon E-53 wind turbine, 500kW of photovoltaic solar panels, and 400kW of lithium-ion battery storage. Cowessess Wind Development sells all the power generated from this facility to SaskPower through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

On This Page

History – Wind and Storage Demonstration Project

Wind can be very unpredictable, especially in a province with the slogan “Land of the Living Skies”. In 2006, Cowessess First Nation worked with the Saskatchewan Research Council on a Wind Study to determine whether a lithium ion battery storage would moderate wind volatility. To address the wind’s sudden and frequent increases and decreases the addition of a lithium ion battery can indeed store excess power when the wind is high and disperse the stored power when the wind is low, in the attempt to maintain a smooth stream of energy onto the grid. Moreover, the stored energy could also be sent to the grid to be utilized at peak times when energy is most in demand. The results from this study proved a viable business case for the project and informed the current location of the Wind Turbine.

After the study, Cowessess First Nation set out to secure funding aside from their own substantial capital investment of $1.8 million. SRC, in turn, invested $180,000 in the project in exchange for an interest in the intellectual property. Other funders included, Natural Resource Canada’s Clean Energy Fund ($2.78M), AANDC ($248,000), Saskatchewan’s Go Green Program ($1.39M). 

Construction of the Wind and Storage Demonstration Project began in August 2012. The site was fully commissioned by May 2013 and a 1MW (one megawatt) 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with SaskPower was secured. 

History – Solar Add-On

After four years in operation, Cowessess First Nation and SRC started to look at other options to increase productivity of the Wind and Storage Demonstration Project; Solar was the answer. 

In August 2017, Western Economic Diversification granted funding to integrate solar energy with the battery storage. In 2018, 400kW of photovoltaic solar panels were installed at the site, with 60kW of that going towards a SaskPower Net Metering contract that offsets site energy consumption. This allows the entire site to be self sufficient, while generating revenue. SkyFire Energy Inc. was contracted to do the installation, who in turn hired five indigenous people for the project. From this work at the CWDL site in 2018, Cory Lavallee, an apprentice electrician and Cowessess Citizen, was hired full time by SkyFire in 2019. 

In September 2019, capacity was increased yet again with a 100kW Solar Add-on contract with the Power Generator Partner’s Program. SkyFire Energy Inc. was hired once again to do the installation, and of the three-person crew, two employees were Cowessess Citizens. 

Cowessess First Nation has come a long way in our Renewable Energy journey, and we are just getting started.

Looking Forward

CWDL’s primary objective is to maintain profitable operations to create surplus revenue for continued investment in renewable energy.

CWDL currently offers field tours for students or businesses. Please contact the Community Energy Specialist for more information. Current COVID 19 restrictions apply.

CWDL intends to expand the educational learning experiences at our site upon completion of the Awasis Solar 10 MW Project immediately adjacent to our site.

Next Steps

  • The Saskatchewan Research Council intends to complete their research on the solar storage system
  • Create surplus for reinvestment in CVL and Awasis Solar
  • Complete Headlease with Canada and Sublease with Awasis Solar
  • Maintain profitable operations
  • Develop a larger interactive educational learning experience at our generation facility that will incorporate aspects from the Renewable Energy Storage Facility and our Awasis Solar 10MW Solar Project.

Project Resources

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Saskatchewan Research Council

Storing Power at Cowessess First Nation

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Cowessess First Nation

Cowessess Renewable Energy Storage Facility

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Climate Atlas of Canada

Wind Power on the Prairies

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David Suzuki Foundation

The Solar Generation

Cowessess started its journey in the renewable energy sector with this project, which helped build experience and capacity for other larger-scale developments.

For More Information Contact Cowessess Ventures Ltd.