Manitoba Hydro and Minnesota’s Great River Energy have signed a memorandum of understanding to look at the province’s energy utility selling up to 600 megawatts of electricity starting in about 2020.
The deal means the two utilities will continue to talk about Hydro supplying some of Great River Energy's long-term electricity needs from two proposed new hydroelectric stations on the Nelson River.
They include the proposed Keeyask Generating Station, being developed in partnership with four local first nation: Tataskweyak First Nation, Fox Lake First Nation, War Lake First Nation, and York Factory First Nation.
Hydro hopes to begin construction on Keeyask later this year subject to regulatory approval.
"We are pleased to work with a trusted partner like Great River Energy to help increase the supply of virtually carbon-free, renewable hydroelectric energy in their supply mix," Scott Thomson, President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro, said in a statement. "This MOU demonstrates the continued strong interest in hydro power in U.S. markets. Expansion of electricity trade with Great River Energy will support expansion of hydropower generating capacity in Manitoba and contribute to the ongoing supply of renewable, reliable, and cost-effective electricity to Manitobans."
Manitoba Hydro and Great River Energy have signed a number of power sale and diversity agreements over the last several decades including a 200 megawatt agreement that runs until 2030.
Great River Energy is a not-for-profit cooperative which provides wholesale electric service to 28 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin, serving approximately 655,000 member consumers or about 1.7 million people.