Bekevar Wind Energy Project

Please note, for the purposes of this environmental review at ISC and NRCan, the below information concentrates on the three quarter sections of Cowessess reserve land that are part of the Bekevar Wind Energy Project, hereafter the "Project Area". The three quarter sections (NW 04-13-05-2, SW 04-13-05-2, SE 04-13-05-2) will host between 1 and 3 wind turbines, access roads and an underground medium-voltage collector system that will connect the turbine(s) to the Project's main substation.

Bekevar Wind L.P., a partnership between Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc. (RES) and Awasis Nehiyawewini Energy Development, a wholly owned Cowessess First Nation entity, is proposing to develop, construct and operate a net 200MW wind power project south and southeast of Kipling, Saskatchewan. The project would comprise approximately 35 to 40 turbines located on approximately 20,000 acres of private land in the RMs of Hazelwood and Kingsley, as well as on three quarter sections of Cowessess First Nation reserve land (the "General Project Area". The Project would include turbines, access roads, an underground medium-voltage collector system, a substation, an operations and maintenance building and a temporary laydown area. 

A project of this size can power more than 90,000 Saskatchewan homes with zero-emission electricity from the wind turbines. Earlier in 2021 Bekevar Wind L.P. entered into a 25-year power purchase agreement with SaskPower.

Temporary infrastructure for this Project will include: 
- construction access roads that will enable transport of turbine components and other materials to the wind turbine site. The construction access road limit of disturbance on the land will be 30m in width or less.
- wind turbine laydown area that will allow for cranes and other equipment to access the turbine site area and install the turbine foundation and components. The wind turbine laydown area will be approximately 1 hectare in size around the proposed turbine site.

Permanent infrastructure will include: 
- turbine foundation and turbine
- access roads to access the turbines during operations, of 5m in width
- underground medium-voltage cabling that will be trenched or plowed in the fields. The cabling is installed at a depth enabling farming operations to resume after construction.

The Project activities are detailed as follows: 
- Pre-planning/preconstruction: such activities have been ongoing and include Indigenous and community consultation, environmental surveys on the site (birds, bats, vegetation assessments, etc.), geotechnical studies, micro-siting of turbines and project design and engineering
- Construction: construction will be undertaken on two periods or phases, as follows: 
a) Phase 1, July to December 2022: construction of roads, excavations at turbine sites and construction of foundations
b) Phase 2, May to December 2023: electrical works, substation and O&M building construction, erection of turbines, project energization and site reclamation/clean-up
- Operations: once operational the wind project requires limited footprint and limited presence of staff on site. Approximately 6 to 8 turbine operators will be on-site to manage the project and conduct maintenance. Other regular activities will include snow removal and access road maintenance to enable access to turbines at all times. Only light vehicles are required for these activities.
- Decommissioning: the Project's above ground components will be dismantled and disposed of at the end of the Project life, i.e. at least 25 years after COD. Turbines are disassembled and all parts are taken to recycling facilities or landfill sites for non-recyclable items. The top section of the turbine foundation is also removed to enable farming to resume on the areas occupied by the turbine.
 

No surface water is present within the project boundary, which is delimited by the footprint of the Project components including temporary construction limits of disturbance.  Several wetlands are present within the General Project Area; however these wetlands are typically low quality features that occur as isolated features within an agricultural landscape with surface water present seasonally or after heavy precipitation events.

There is one permanent residence located on the adjacent quarter section to SW 04-13-05-2. No other residences are located on other adjacent quarter sections. It should noted that turbines will be at least 750m from residences, to comply with RES best practices.

There are no unique features on the adjacent land. The area is entirely used for agricultural purposes and includes natural features such as wetlands and small tree stands.

No surface water is present within the project boundary, which is delimited by the footprint of the Project components including temporary construction limits of disturbance.  Several wetlands are present within the General Project Area; however these wetlands are typically low quality features that occur as isolated features within an agricultural landscape with surface water present seasonally or after heavy precipitation events.

 

There is one permanent residence located on the adjacent quarter section to SW 04-13-05-2. No other residences are located on other adjacent quarter sections. It should noted that turbines will be at least 750m from residences, to comply with RES best practices.

 

There are no unique features on the adjacent land. The area is entirely used for agricultural purposes and includes natural features such as wetlands and small tree stands.

 

Site-specific wildlife studies were undertaken within the General Project Area.  During these studies, no wildlife species at risk (i.e. listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act were documented within the identified Project Area.  Several wildlife species at risk have been identified in the landscape surrounding the Project Area, and have the potential to occur within the lands covered by this Project Description Form.  These species include Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor; Threatened), Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus, Threatened), Barn Swallow (Riparia riparia, Threatened), Red-Headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes cephalus, Endangered), and Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus, Endangered).

 

Three individual Common Nighthawks were observed outside of the Project Area.  Given the mobility of this species, it has been determined to have the potential to occur within the limits of the Project Area at certain times of year.  This species typically uses areas with short, sparse vegetation, including pastures and open forests, for nesting.  No impacts to this species, or its habitat, are anticipated to occur during construction.  A very small potential exists for operational impacts to this species as a result of interactions with operational wind turbine blades.  Bird Studies Canada et al (2018) indicates that this species accounts for less than 0.2% of all bird interactions with operational turbines, with no documented mortalities outside of Ontario.  The resulting potential for impact to the species, or its habitat, has been considered negligible. 

 

Ten Bobolinks were observed outside of the Project Area.  Given the mobility of this species, it has been determined to have the potential to occur within the limits of the Project Area at certain times of year. This species typically uses tall grasslands, pasture and native prairie for nesting and foraging.  No impacts to this species, or its habitat, are anticipated to occur during construction.  Bird Studies Canada et al (2018) indicates that this species accounts for 1.25% of all bird interactions with operational turbines, with no documented mortalities outside of Ontario.  The resulting potential for impact to the species, or its habitat, has been considered negligible. 

 

Twenty-one flocks, totalling 133 individual Barn Swallows, were observed outside of the Project Area at certain times of year.  Given the mobility of this species, it has been determined to have the potential to occur within the limits of the Project Area.  This species typically uses buildings in agricultural and residential areas, mainly in the Grassland and Parkland Natural regions, for nesting.  No impacts to this species, or its habitat, are anticipated to occur during construction.  Bird Studies Canada et al (2018) indicates that this species accounts for 1.19% of all bird interactions with operational turbines, with no documented mortalities outside of Ontario.  The resulting potential for impact to the species, or its habitat, has been considered negligible. 

 

One individual Red-Headed Woodpecker was observed outside of the Project Area.  Given the mobility of this species, it has been determined to have the potential to occur within the limits of the Project Area at certain times of year. This species uses open forests, tree rows in agricultural areas, and wetlands with standing timber for nesting and foraging.  The location where it was observed has a larger forested habitat, which is not present in the Project Area, therefore, it is not expect that this species would be present in the Project Area.  No impacts to this species, or its habitat, are anticipated to occur during construction.  Bird Studies Canada et al (2018) indicates that there are no documented mortalities as a result of an interaction with a wind turbine, in Canada.  The resulting potential for impact to the species, or its habitat, has been considered negligible. 

 

Seventy-five Little Brown Myotis calls were recorded outside of the Project Area during acoustic bat surveys conducted in the spring and fall periods.  Calls for this species accounted for <0.01% of the total number of bat calls that were recorded.  Given the mobility of this species, it has been determined to have the potential to occur within the limits of the Project Area at certain times of year.  This species establishes summer maternity colonies in buildings or large diameter trees, and forages for insects mainly over water. They overwinter in hibernacula that are cold and humid, including caves and mines.  No preferred habitat for this species has been identified within the Project boundary, and no impacts to this species, or its habitat, are anticipated to occur during construction.  The potential for wind turbines to impact individual bats of this species are low in this region of Canada (BSC et al 2018).  The resulting potential for impact to the species is minimal, with no expected impacts to the habitat for this species.  
 

 

 


Disclaimer

This map is for illustrative purposes. The markers represent the approximate locations based on available data. More than one marker may be identified for a given assessment.

 

Latest update

August 2, 2022 - Indigenous Services Canada issued its notice of determination Notice of Determination for Bekevar Wind Energy Project - Canada.ca (iaac-aeic.gc.ca) and determined that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. 

NRCan issued its notice of determination NRCan Notice of Determination for Bekevar Wind Energy Project - Canada.ca (iaac-aeic.gc.ca) and determined that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. .

Key documents

Key documents
Document Number Document Title File Date
10 ISC Notice of Determination for Bekevar Wind Energy Project - August 2, 2022
11 NRCan Notice of Determination for Bekevar Wind Energy Project PDF (395 KB) July 27, 2022
9 Mitigation measures PDF (166 KB) June 17, 2022
8 ECCC comments May 20 PDF (135 KB) May 20, 2022
7 Response to s. 85 ECCC comments PDF (240 KB) April 21, 2022
5 Updated Environment Impact Statement March 2022 PDF (78.2 MB) March 25, 2022
6 s. 85 comments ECCC PDF (244 KB) March 16, 2022
3 Environmental Impact Statement PDF (61 MB) December 20, 2021
2 Project map PDF (678 KB) December 17, 2021
1 Public Comment Period on Intent to Make a Determination - December 2, 2021

List all records

Contacts

ISC-SKENV
Indigenous Services Canada
Hilary Hunter, A/ Sr. Environment Officer
1827 Albert Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 2S9
Telephone: 306-780-5392
Email: aadnc.isc-skenv.aandc@canada.ca


  • Location

    • Cowessess IR No. 73A (Saskatchewan)
  • Nature of Activity

    • Alternative Energy
  • Assessment Status

    Completed
  • Start Date

    2021-12-02
  • Proponent

    Bekevar Wind L.P.
  • Authorities

    • Indigenous Services Canada
    • Natural Resources Canada
  • Assessment Type

    Project on federal lands
  • Reference Number

    83231

Nearby assessments

..within 200 kilometres
Date modified: