Oil and natural gas producers often operate in remote areas, from the rugged Alberta foothills to isolated parts of northeastern B.C. Increasingly, companies are turning to wind and solar to run producing wells, gas gathering facilities and other installations instead of relying on generators fuelled by diesel or propane.
Crescent Point Energy is taking a different approach by installing larger solar arrays. The company has completed two pilot solar power generation projects to determine the effectiveness, reliability and suitability of solar power for use in operations. One test is at Crescent Point’s office building in Carlyle, a town in southeastern Saskatchewan. This solar installation generates about 90 kilowatts (kW) of electricity. (Fast fact: a 100-kW generator can supply from 25 to 50 homes.)
Based on the success of these initial projects, Crescent Point is planning additional solar installations at a number of sites in Saskatchewan that are on or adjacent to existing Crescent Point facilities and leases.
After meeting Crescent Point’s needs for electricity, a portion of the power generated will be sold to SaskPower as part of the Power Generation Partner Program (PGPP). This program helps reduce emissions from the overall Saskatchewan power grid – most of SaskPower’s electricity is from coal or natural gas-fired generation plants in addition to smaller amounts of electricity from hydro, wind and solar sources.