Reduced emission coal plant coming to Edmonton

EDMONTON — Alberta power companies TransAlta of Calgary and Epcor Utilities of Edmonton are building the $1.6-billion Keephills 3 power project, a 450 megawatt (MW) coal-fired plant about 70 kilometres west of Edmonton.

“The Keephills 3 plant is an important step in ensuring Alberta’s future power needs are met with reliable and cost-effective electricity,” said Steve Snyder, TransAlta President and CEO. According to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), if demand for power in Alberta continues as forecast, up to 3,800 MW of new generation may be required by 2016.

Keephills 3, which has been approved by the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and Alberta Environment, will use supercritical boiler technology to provide improved environmental performance. The plant will emit 24 per cent less carbon dioxide and 60 to 80 per cent less sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury while producing an increased amount of power compared to TransAlta’s four Wabamun plants (which are being fully retired by 2010).

Hitachi Canada will be providing Keephills 3’s power island, high-efficiency turbine generator and advanced supercritical boiler technology. Epcor will be responsible for construction, while TransAlta will operate the facility once it is completed. Construction is expected to be completed by 2011.

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