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Canadian utility Saskpower says it is on track to achieve its 40% carbon emission reduction target by 2030.

The utility is planning to increase its renewable energy capacity, accelerate adoption of low-emission technologies and modernise its grid network with smart technologies, which will enable the energy provider to meet its future energy demands.

The smart grid technologies will include advanced smart metering. In its smart meter plans, Saskpower has recently launched phase 2 of its digital meter deployment.

The pilot includes installation of 7,500 smart meters for commercial and industrial customers.

The launch follows a successful pilot of over 500 meters, which was implemented last year.

The pilot allows the energy provider to test its smart meter business processes and communications network before full deployment.

The trial project forms efforts by the utility to develop a smart grid over the next five to ten years, a development which will help reduce power outages and bring more renewable customer-self generated power onto the grid.

Tim Eckel, vice-president of asset management, planning and sustainability at Saskpower, said: “Many of SaskPower’s commercial and industrial customers have been asking for this technology and we’re ready to provide it to them.

“The benefits to our business customers include eliminating billing estimates and providing customers with more detailed information about how and when they’re using power. All of this will help them inform choices around budgeting, planning and conservation.”

Saskpower also has plans to increase its use of carbon capture and storage technology, as the firm intensifies efforts to replace coal with low-emission energy generation processes.

CEO Mike Marsh, said federal regulations on existing coal plants mandate that we replace with clean energy resources including CCS, wind, solar, natural gas and other lower‐emission technology projects in the coming years.

“Balancing cost, reliability and sustainability will continue to mean a mix of power sources, as we bring our capacity to up to 50% renewable by 2030..,” reiterated March.