TransCanada gets three year extension to build 338-MW gas plant

The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) in Canada has given TransCanada three additional years to build the 338-MW Saddlebrook gas-fired power plant.

The completion deadline for the plant had previously been set as June 30, 2012. TransCanada asked the commission for an extension in March. The new deadline is June 30, 2015.

The plant, providing that it is eventually built, will be located in the Saddlebrook Industrial Park near High River, Alberta.

TransCanada cited several reasons in requesting the extension, AUC said in its April 12 decision.

The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) has identified system constraints on the transmission system intended to tie Saddlebrook to the Alberta interconnected electrical grid. Furthermore, additional system reinforcements in the south Calgary and Foothills areas are required.

TransCanada is working with the AESO and AltaLink Management Ltd. to confirm transmission connection alternatives and advance connection studies.

Also, the federal government of Canada is currently considering legislation regarding coal-fired generation units that may have an impact on new gas-fired generation in Alberta. The uncertainty regarding this legislation, specifically in using new gas-fired units to replace retiring coal-fired units, has also prompted TransCanada to request an extension for Saddlebrook until the legislation is decided upon.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.