Alberta Environment News

Capital Power accelerates plans towards low carbon future with coal-free grid in Alberta by 2023

Capital Power says they are accelerating their plans towards a low carbon future and having a coal-free grid in Alberta in two years.

Capital Power made the announcement at its virutal 12th annual Investor Day event saying they are repowering its Genesee units 1 and 2 and aim to be off-coal in 2023.

“Capital Power has been following a strategy towards a low carbon future with a target to be net carbon neutral before 2050,” said Brian Vaasjo, president of Capital Power.

In November 2020, Capital Power executed a 25-year PPA with a large national Canadian company for all the energy and renewable energy credits generated by its Strathmore Solar project. Strathmore Solar is a 40.5 megawatt project located in Strathmore, Alta., that is currently under construction with commercial operations expected in early 2022.

Subject to successful permitting and regulatory approvals, Capital Power is moving forward with the Enchant Solar project, located within the municipal district of Taber, Alberta. The project will add 75 megawatts in the back half of 2022 with an expected capital cost between $90 million to $100 million.

Enchant Solar will generate carbon credits that can be used to hedge against Capital Power’s carbon compliance costs from its Alberta thermal generation facilities.

Binnu Jeyakumar, director of clean energy at the Pembina Institute welcomed Capital Power’s announcement they are accelerating its shift from coal by 2023.

“This, along with the plans announced previously by TransAlta and ATCO, now means the province of Alberta’s electricity grid will be coal-free years ahead of its original schedule for coal phase-out.”

Jeyakumar said an early coal phase-out means cost savings, significant emissions reductions and better health for Albertans.

“The economics of coal are challenging, particularly with the availability of cost-competitive renewables, so this makes coal retirement a very cost-effective way to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

“Alberta’s early coal phase-out is also a great lesson in good policy-making done in collaboration with industry and civil society,” he added.

Jeyakumar said with the transformation of the electricity sector, it’s important there are efforts to support impacted workers and communities.

“They were the backbone for a century of reliable electricity in Alberta and opportunities must be provided for them to take part in the emerging economy.”

Capital Power is a North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton. The company develops, acquires, owns, and operates power generation facilities using a variety of energy sources.

Capital Power owns approximately 6,500 megawatts (MW) of power generation capacity at 28 facilities across North America. Approximately 425 MW of owned generation capacity is in advanced development in Alberta and North Carolina.

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