Thursday, December 10, 2020

Alberta's goal is to eliminate coal-fired electricity production by 2023, ahead of 2030 provincial deadline

 In 2014, 55%  of Alberta’s electricity was produced from 18 coal-fired generators. The Alberta government announced in 2015 it would eliminate emissions from coal power generation by 2030.

Provincial electric utility Capital Power Corp. plans to spend nearly $1 billion to switch two coal-fired power units west of Edmonton to natural gas and stop using coal entirely. Capital Power expects that direct carbon dioxide emissions at its Genesee power facility will be about 3.4 million tonnes per year lower than 2019 emission levels when the project is complete. The natural gas combined cycle units will be the most efficient in Canada, and they will be capable of running on 30% hydrogen initially, with the option to run on 95% hydrogen in the future with minor investments.

The growing cost-competitiveness of renewable energy makes coal plant retirements possible, due to Capital Power’s plans to increase its investments in solar power.

Calgary-based TransAlta Corp. said it will end operations at its Highvale thermal coal mine west of Edmonton by the end of 2021 as it switches to natural gas at all of its operating coal-fired plants in Canada by four years earlier than previously planned.  The Highvale surface coal mine is the largest in Canada and has been in operation since 1970.