Saskatchewan Power Corporation was established as the province's electric utility by notice under the Crown Corporations Act, 1947. Under this notice, the mandate to manufacture, distribute, sell and supply electricity to residential and business customers in Saskatchewan was transferred from the Saskatchewan Power Commission to Saskatchewan Power Corporation on February 1, 1949. Under its new structure, Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SPC) had a board of directors appointed by government, with the Minister-in-Charge as its chairman. The board appointed J.W. Tomlinson as the first general manager. Tomlinson's role was to serve as the corporation's chief executive officer at its headquarters in Regina. Reporting to the general manager were department heads of Power Production; Engineering; Financial; and Commercial, along with a secretary/legal advisor and a public relations director. By 1951, additional departments included Line Construction and Operating and by 1954, additional executive positions included gas development engineer; operating superintendent supply manager; and engineer in charge of construction.
In the first fifteen months, Government passed two additional pieces of legislation to further clarify the work of SPC. The Rural Electrification Act, 1949, assented to April 2, 1949, guided the corporation's mission to expand the electrical grid throughout rural Saskatchewan. The Power Corporation Act, 1950, assented to April 8, 1950, outlined the responsibilities of the corporation. In 1950, SPC also developed interdependent programs to redevelop and extend a low-voltage system across the province and to develop new higher-voltage transmission systems, thus eliminating the need for smaller, less efficient plants. As well, SPC was designated in 1951 as the provincial authority to handle the distribution of natural gas. Development in the production and supply of power to oil fields and potash mines also increased the corporation's reach to its business customers. Throughout the 1950s, the corporation's infrastructure expanded with the construction and expansion of plants in Saskatoon, Estevan, Prince Albert, North Battleford, Swift Current and Unity. Field offices with district operators were also established during this period to serve the needs of rural customers throughout Saskatchewan.
J.W. Tomlinson served as general manager until his resignation on November 30, 1954. W.B. Clipsham was appointed acting general manager until September 1955 when David Cass-Beggs was appointed as general manager. In the months following his appointment, a major reorganization took place within the management of the corporation. Three functional divisions were created: Engineering; Operations; and Administration. Assistant general managers were appointed for each division, and personnel and public relations directors fell under the responsibility of the Administration Division. A further reorganization of the Administration Division was done in 1959, with all research, planning and administrative control functions brought together to form the Planning and Administrative Controls Division. This division also included functions such as finance and public and employee relations. In 1960, a revision to the organizational structure of the Engineering division (or Group as it was now known) took place. Functional areas of electrical design, mechanical design, and electrical construction were re-grouped into separate divisions, and an additional division was created for system planning. David Cass-Beggs remained as general manager until mid-1964 when W.B. Clipsham was once again appointed acting general manager.
The rural electrification program initiated in 1949 was completed in 1961. Under this program, 62,200 rural customers were hooked up to SPC's electrical service. Infrastructure projects during this period included the construction of new power plants in La Ronge in 1959 and near Estevan in 1960, and the opening of a new corporate headquarters in Regina in 1963.
In March 1965, D.B. Furlong was appointed general manager. Furlong oversaw a major reorganization later that year wherein functions of the Gas and Electrical systems were operationally separated into their own entities. This reorganization was aimed at reducing overlap of management between the functional areas. Further reorganizations took place in 1967 when the Electric system was divided into five areas, each with its own manager, and in 1968 when the Gas system was divided into north and south zones. Each zone had a manager and its own headquarters (Saskatoon and Regina). In keeping with the focus on better corporate efficiency, SPC saw a fifteen percent reduction in staff from 1964 to 1969. As well, in an effort to better meet customer service needs, a decentralization initiative to increase the number of employees in rural service centres took place in the 1970s. In Regina, a research and development division was created in 1972. D.B. Furlong held the position of general manager until his resignation in May 1970. R.R. Keith was first appointed acting general manager upon Furlong's departure, and was later appointed general manager. He served as such until the appointment of F.G. Ursel on March 1, 1976.
In 1969, SPC formed a subsidiary, North-Sask Electric Ltd., to serve the electrical needs of northern Saskatchewan. Based in La Ronge, North-Sask Electric Ltd. had its own board of directors and assumed all assets of SPC in the North. SPC also incorporated Many Islands Pipelines (Canada) Ltd. in 1972 as a subsidiary to purchase and operate a gas transmission line between Unity and the gas fields near Provost, Alberta. During the late-1960s and 1970s, completed infrastructure construction and expansion projects included the Success Power Station near Swift Current, the Coteau Creek Hydroelectric Station near Elbow and at Boundary Dam Power Station near Estevan.
Another major corporate reorganization occurred in 1980. The new corporate structure was based on the need to strengthen internal capabilities while improving relations with external groups. New functional groups were created or realigned to accommodate key themes such as environmental protection, energy supply and conservation, and public participation. The reorganization also saw the replacement of the title of general manager with that of president to identify the chief executive officer of the corporation. Corporate executives that reported to the president were now given titles of vice-president based on their functional role. F.G. Ursel remained with SPC as president until December 1980. Presidents succeeding Ursel were R.H. Moncur (1981), E.B. Campbell (1982-1987), and George D. Hill (1987-1991). Hill was the first president to have chief executive officer (CEO) added to his title.
North-Sask Electric Ltd. was consolidated into the corporation on December 31, 1987. Infrastructure growth continued in the 1980s with the redevelopment of the former Regina Power Plant into a research and development facility, and with expansion of the Poplar River plant near Coronach and the E.B. Campbell Hydro Station at Nipawin. As well, an amendment to The Power Corporation Act on November 6, 1987 recognized the name SaskPower as a legally accepted abbreviation of Saskatchewan Power Corporation (S.S. 1986-87-88, c. 52).
Operations in the electrical and natural gas divisions of SaskPower were formally separated on June 1, 1988 with the establishment of Saskatchewan Energy Corporation (SaskEnergy). The two corporations were formally and financially separated on December 31, 1989. Except for the removal of natural gas operations, the organizational structure of SaskPower remained similar. In 1993, the executive consisted of the president and CEO, an executive vice-president of Corporate Affairs, and vice-presidents of: Major Projects and Facility Enhancements; Finance; Energy Supply and Facilities Planning; Human Resources; Production and Transmission; Operations; and Customer Services.
In the early 1990s, SaskPower formed three subsidiaries with the establishment of Power Greenhouses Inc. (1991), the purchase of Channel Lake Petroleum Limited (1993) and the launch of SaskPower Commercial - later renamed SaskPower International Ltd. (1994). These subsidiaries were looked at as a means to broaden SaskPower's profile beyond Saskatchewan's borders, and to focus on the corporation's goals for environmental sustainability. Channel Lake Petroleum Limited was sold to Direct Energy Marketing Ltd. in 1997. Another major project of this period, the Shand Power Station, commissioned in 1992. It included the only wetland in North America that was designed to supply cooling water to a power station. It was also the site of the Shand Greenhouse (formally known as Power Greenhouses Inc.) which grows and distributes plant seedlings in an effort to offset the environmental impact of electricity production.
Another major corporate reorganization occurred in 1995 with the formation of four business units and two support groups. The business units were Power Production; System Operations and Decision Support; Transmission and Distribution; and Customer Services. The two support groups were Corporate and Business Services Group, which was comprised of human resources; administration; legal; audit; communications; and public affairs departments and Finance Group, which was comprised of financial reporting; information systems; debt and pension management; corporate business planning; and financial analysis departments. This reorganization was aimed at increasing accountability and performance and encouraging a more decentralized attitude to respond to customer service. A further corporate realignment in February 1999 saw departments within the Systems Operations and Decision Support Unit integrated with the remaining units. Information Systems became a separate entity which reported directly to the president. John R. Messer served as president and CEO from 1991 to March 1998 and Kelly E. Staudt as acting president and CEO from March 1998 to February 1999.
By 2000, SaskPower was structured into three business units (Power Production; Transmission and Distribution; and Customer Services) and five corporate groups (Corporate and Financial Services; Corporate Information and Technology; Corporate Planning and Regulatory Affairs; Human Resources; and President's Office.) While the number of corporate groups fluctuated, the corporate structure has remained intact since the 2000 reorganization. Those appointed president and CEO through the 2000s include John Wright (1999 to 2004); Patricia Youzwa (2004 to January 2010); Garner Mitchell (acting) (January to August 2010); and Robert Watson (since August 2010).
SaskPower formed its wholly-owned subsidiary North Point Energy Solutions Inc. in 2001 to meet the requirements of the Open Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) that mandated a separation of the transmission and wholesale marketing functions of the corporation. Between 2000 and 2010, infrastructure expansion projects were completed at the Queen Elizabeth Power Station in Saskatoon; the Poplar River Power Station; the Boundary Dam Power Station; the Nipawin Hydroelectric Station; and the Shand Power Station. As well, the Centennial Wind Power Facility began operation near Rush Lake in 2005, and the Yellowhead Power Station in North Battleford in 2010.
Currently (2011) SaskPower operates three coal-fired power stations, seven hydroelectric stations, five natural gas stations, and two wind facilities with a mission to provide safe, reliable and sustainable power for its customers. Its corporate headquarters remains in Regina, with Robert Watson serving as president and CEO.