ATCO Power develops 400-MW, gas-fired project in Alberta

ATCO Power is currently working to build community support, including through an Oct. 3 local open house for nearby residents, for a 400-MW, natural gas-fired station, called the ATCO Heartland Generating Station, in Strathcona County, Alberta.

The plant, which is in an area called Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, will use gas-fired combined-cycle technology. The company’s plan is to begin construction in late 2014, with full commercial operation in 2017.

Alberta currently gets its power from a number of different fuel sources: coal, natural gas, hydro, and wind. The company noted that the Canadian province also currently uses a peak of 10,600 MW. With the power demand forecast to increase by over 50% by 2022, and a retiring coal-fired power fleet due to Canadian clean-air reguations, Alberta will need to build 7,000 MW over the next 10 years to be sure the province can continue to power our homes and the economy.

ATCO Power’s first combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant was the 1,000 MW Barking Power Station in London, England. When commissioned in 1995, it had the lowest emissions and highest efficiency of any power station of its type in the UK.

In 2004, ATCO Power further improved efficiency and emissions when the 580-MW Brighton Beach Power Station in Ontario came on line.

​ATCO Power was established in 1988 to pursue independent power projects worldwide. The newly deregulated market in the United Kingdom provided the company with its first major opportunity with the Barking project. The company has established itself in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada in numerous partnerships. Following deregulation in Alberta, the formerly regulated assets of ATCO’s thermal and gas-fired plants were combined under the ATCO Power umbrella as of January 2001. ATCO Power currently has ownership in 15 power generation plants in Canada and the United Kingdom.

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.