Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The west side route suddenly makes a lot more sense

The controversy over the routing of Bipole III is one of the very few issues where the editorialists at the Free Press have been able to score legitimate points against the government. The government has good reasons for choosing the west side route, namely the desire to limit development on the relatively pristine east side, but the contrary view, namely that the extra cost (which is not insignificant) as well as the line losses will outweigh the benefits, is certainly defensible. However, the balance may have shifted significantly in the government's favour with this announcement (h/t Endless Spin Cycle):

Manitoba and Saskatchewan will look into improving the capacity of electric power transmission between the two provinces.

The decision is one of several to come out of a first-ever joint meeting of the two provincial cabinets today in Yorkton, Sask.

Of course, this isn't a fait accompli, but the western route is quite favourable for sending power to the west, and I've often wondered why they haven't brought this up before now. Perhaps they wanted to make sure they had something resembling a deal first. In any case, if this goes through it'll mean that Saskatchewan will burn less coal than before. Can't complain about that.

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