SaskPower plans to retire units four and five at the Boundary Dam Power Station.

According to the Crown, unit three will continue to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. CCS allows the unit to use a lower emission process, and the Crown says it is one of the cleanest-burning coal power units in the world.

However, SaskPower has decided it will not go ahead with a plan to retrofit units four and five with CCS technology.

“Coal will remain an important part of the power grid in the future and so will CCS as we work on opportunities for other facilities,” Minister Responsible for SaskPower Dustin Duncan said in a news release. “CCS is vital to achieving climate change goals here in Canada and around the world.”

“Units four and five at Boundary Dam are smaller units in our fleet that are rapidly approaching the end of their useful lives,” said Mike Marsh, SaskPower president and CEO. “Federal regulations on existing coal plants mandate that we either retrofit units four and five with CCS, or retire them at the end of 2021 and 2024, respectively, with an equivalency agreement from the federal government. With the current low price of natural gas, we had to make this decision in the best interest of our customers. For now, we have a clear plan to achieve our emission reduction targets by 2030, and CCS technology will be a part of that. We will continue to evaluate the viability of retrofitting our larger units with CCS in the coming years.”

The province is working on a feasibility study for putting a CCS unit at the Shand coal-fired power station in Estevan.

The Crown says retiring the two units shouldn’t include layoffs for the 40 people involved in the units.

The announcement to retire the units came out in SaskPower’s annual report outlining fiscal results for 2017-18.