Initial plans are underway for a solar facility in Estevan as the city looks at ways to combat the uncertain future of the coal industry in southeast Saskatchewan.
Estevan City Council heard a presentation Monday night about the plans for the project.
"SaskPower is in the process of finding an independent power producer to build a 100 megawatt solar facility in the Estevan area," said Christine Enmark of SaskPower, adding that the facility could be built in the Boundary Dam area.
Estevan Mayor Roy Ludwig was receptive to the project.
"We appreciate this project...this will bring jobs to our community," he said.
Ludwig also indicated that rather than putting the facility on farmland, it might be better suited to go on land that's already owned by SaskPower.
"So there's concern with some of that reclaimed coal land area," Enmark said. "I think the project team is looking at investigating and seeing what they can do in the future using that land, but just with this project, there's too much uncertainty around that."
Enmark added that SaskPower would be getting an Independent Power Producer (IPP) to build the facility and operate it, and that SaskPower would buy the energy through a power purchase agreement.
Councillor Rebecca Foord expressed some concern for the farming community and recommended that community consultation be pushed back.
"Because this is on farmland and we are right in the middle of peak harvest season, I think it would be very much appreciated if it waited until after harvest," she said. "I think there's going to be a lot of feedback from the people of the R.M. (of Estevan), so I think it would be good to have after."
There is no specific timeline for the project as of yet.