Solar or wind-powered water pumps can offer an economical, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly alternative to bringing power lines to remote wells, dug-outs or streams.

SaskPower offers a grant of 50 per cent of costs above $500, to a maximum of $500, toward the purchase and installation of a complete solar or wind-powered water pumping system for farm livestock watering facilities.

Solar-powered pumps

A solar-powered pump can provide a reliable water supply and eliminate the installation of power lines in environmentally sensitive areas. Because power lines are not needed, there is no need to spray chemicals around the base of poles.

Solar-powered pumps rely on photovoltaic (PV) panels or modules, which are composed of silicone cells that generate electricity when sunshine strikes the surface of the cells. Power modules are available in various wattages and voltages. PV panels pose little or no threat to the environment, wildlife, and people.

Solar costs

Because PV systems must be custom designed to user and site characteristics, costs vary. Prices range from $900 to more than $6,000.

Choosing the right solar-pump system

Factors to consider include total and peak requirements, the time of day and frequency that power is required, and the reliability and energy storage requirements.

Ask your supplier for more information regarding your specific requirements.

Wind-powered pumps

Wind power is a non-polluting renewable resource that can be harnessed where access to power lines is not practical. There are three types of wind-powered pumping systems. Two use mechanical power to pump water, while the third converts wind power to electrical energy.

  • Mechanical–piston pump: This system converts rotary wind power to vertical motion, using a snake rod and a piston pump to lift water.
  • Mechanical–air lift pump: This system uses wind power to charge a compressor that pumps air to lift water.
  • Electrical pump: The electrical pumping system channels the energy generated directly to the water pump, to a battery storage system, or both.

Each system design will depend on your specific energy needs, whether a battery storage system is required and the amount of wind available at the site.

Batteries can account for more than 20 per cent of the total capital investment, so they are a key factor if you're considering an electrical pumping system.

Wind costs

The capital cost of a wind system depends on the size and design of the system. A system with a capacity of 10 to 15 gallons per minute will cost approximately $3,000, while one that pumps 250 to 300 gallons per minute will cost between $15,000 and $20,000.

While the capital cost of a wind system may be higher than other methods of generating electricity, reduced operating costs can result in long-term cost efficiencies.

Choosing the right wind-pump system

If you’re considering a wind-powered system, contact different suppliers to get more information about pump options and determine which system is best for your situation.

How to Apply

Solar or wind-powered water pump systems must be purchased from a Saskatchewan-based supplier to qualify for the grant.

  1. Call 1-888-757-6937 to locate the nearest SaskPower customer service office that has a business manager.
  2. Send your completed Solar or Wind-powered Water Pump Grant Application with satisfactory proof of purchase, to the SaskPower business manager.

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