REGINA -- SaskPower says it will move forward with building a natural gas power station in Moose Jaw after a review of federal regulations.

Minister responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said the company has decided to move ahead with the project after the review.

“In spite of changing federal regulations, building the gas plant at Moose Jaw remains the most economic choice for SaskPower,” Duncan said in a news release. “Natural gas generation is a cost-efficient, low-carbon and reliable source of baseload power, which will be crucial as we continue to increase renewables.”

SaskPower started looking into the project in 2017 and decided Moose Jaw would be the best location. Ottawa announced new regulations for natural gas regulations in June that will come online on Jan. 1 2021. To stay aligned with the new federal regulations and be exempt from the carbon tax, any natural gas facilities coming online after 2021 will need to have zero emissions.

“When this facility is complete in 2024 it will generate enough baseload power for a city the size of Saskatoon,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower President & Chief Executive Officer. “Construction and operation of the plant will also provide economic opportunity in the Moose Jaw area, and we look forward to continued cooperation with the City of Moose Jaw in the coming years.”

The project has received federal environmental approval, SaskPower says. The Crown will now submit a technical proposal for a provincial environmental review, execute land and service agreements, and shortlist proponents to design and build the facility.

SaskPower says the Chinook Power Station in Swift Current will be fully commissioned by the end of this year. It's considered a low-emission facility and won't be affected by the new federal regulations.