Alberta commission approves 85-MW power project

The Alberta Utilities Commission on Aug. 28 approved a May 2012 application from MacKay Operating Corp. requesting approval to construct and operate an 85-MW, gas-fired power plant for the MacKay River commercial project located in the Athabasca oilsands region.

MacKay also filed in May 2012 requesting an industrial system designation for the MacKay River commercial project. “This decision provides the Commission’s reasons for granting the industrial system designation sought, except for the 34.5-kilovolt (kV) distribution line serving the project’s two water wells,” the commission noted. “The decision reserves for later determination the issue whether the proposed 34.5-kV water well distribution line will be included in the industrial system designation and directs a further process to assist the Commission in reaching that decision.”

The MacKay River commercial project is a bitumen recovery project located about 30 kilometers northwest of Fort McMurray in northeast Alberta within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The MacKay River commercial project would utilize steam-assisted technology to recover bitumen from the oilsands. The MacKay River commercial project would be constructed in four phases to reach an ultimate design capacity of approximately 150,000 barrels per day of bitumen production. Construction of Phase 1 of the MacKay River commercial project was initiated in the first quarter of 2012. The MacKay River commercial project is designed to recover an estimated 1.7 billion barrels of bitumen over its projected 45-year life.

The MacKay River commercial project would consist of a central processing facility, the MacKay River central plant, a steam generation facility and the MacKay River north plant. The proposed power plant in the application approved Aug. 28 would be installed during Phase 2 of the project. The proposed power plant would distribute electricity produced by the cogeneration facility through a 34.5-kV distribution system.

The power plant design is based on a GE Frame 7EA turbine coupled with a GE 7A6 generator with DLN combustor, or equivalent machine with similar output and emission control. The nominal capacity is 85 MW (ISO performance corrected to site elevation at 15oC ambient air temperature, RH 40%). The exhaust will be fed to a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) with supplemental duct firing.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.