SaskPower and the First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) have signed an agreement that will source 20 megawatts of flare gas power generation projects.

The First Nations Opportunity Agreement is worth around $300 million in potential revenue over the next 20 years. SaskPower says it will represent new sources of economic development and power projects through First Nations communities and businesses.

Flare gas power generation uses waste flare gas from oil and gas operations. The flares are used to produce electricity, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere.

“We are proud to celebrate this pioneering agreement between our government and the First Nations Power Authority, which will contribute to Saskatchewan’s climate change strategy in a very meaningful way,” said Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan in a written statement. “By supporting the adoption of innovative emission reduction technologies such as this, we are supporting all sectors of Saskatchewan’s economy in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. We are committed to a cleaner electricity sector, and a cleaner oil and gas sector, but in a manner that is financially sustainable and responsible.”

The project will help oil and gas operations reduce their environmental footprint.

The FNPA will be responsible for securing the projects.

“This is an important milestone for us,” said FNPA Chief Executive Officer Guy Lonechild. “This agreement and long-term commitment between SaskPower and Saskatchewan First Nations is exactly what FNPA was created to develop. Together, we are saying that our First Nations will be essential in the power future of this province, from an economic and environmental perspective.”

SaskPower says converting flare gas will help the Crown work towards its goal of reducing emissions by 40 per cent by 2020.