TransAlta Completes Conversion from Coal to Natural Gas in Canada |

In a press release, TransAlta President and CEO John Kousinioris said the company took a major step forward long before a federal mandate that will require the complete phase-out of coal-fired power generation in Canada. by 2030.

“We are happy to have taken this important step, nine years ahead of the government’s target,” Kousinioris said. “Our transition to coal is one of the most significant carbon emissions reduction achievements in Canadian history.

As of 2019, TransAlta says it has invested $ 295 million in its coal-to-gas program, which also included the conversion of Unit 6 at Sundance and Unit 2 at Keephills near Wabuman, Alta., And Sheerness Units 1 and 2 near Hanna, Alta., as well as the construction of new high volume gas delivery infrastructure.

Converting to natural gas from coal maintains the company’s current production capacity while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 50%, the company said.

Beginning Friday, TransAlta will also close its Highvale thermal coal mine, the largest in Canada and operating on the south shore of Lake Wabamun, west of Edmonton, since 1970.

TransAlta’s move away from coal is a milestone in Alberta as it strives to reduce its reliance on coal for power generation.

In 2014, 55% of Alberta’s electricity was produced from coal. The province, led by then-Premier Rachel Notley, announced in 2015 – three years before the federal government’s coal mandate – that it would phase out emissions from coal-fired electricity generation. by 2030.

In addition to TransAlta, other Alberta companies have also made significant utility conversion commitments. Edmonton-based Capital Power Corp. said it would spend nearly $ 1 billion to replace two coal-fired power plants west of Edmonton with natural gas and stop using coal altogether from here. 2023.

TransAlta said that overall, it had withdrawn 3,794 megawatts of coal production since 2018. The company still operates the Centralia coal-fired power plant in Washington state, which is expected to close at the end of 2025.

TransAlta says it is on track to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 60%, or 19.7 million tonnes, by 2030 from 2015 levels and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on December 29, 2021.

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Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

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