Capital Power gets quick review on 1,050-MW Alberta project

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency said Jan. 16 that it has decided that a federal environmental assessment is not required for the 1,050-MW Genesee Generating Station Expansion Project.

The agency said it is satisfied that the environmental effects of the project are well understood and adequately characterized in the project description.

Capital Power Generation Service Inc. is proposing to expand its existing Genesee station by constructing and operating two natural gas-fired plants located approximately 17 kilometers north of Warburg in Leduc County, Alberta. The power plants, expected to operate for about 35 years, would have a combined generating capacity of up to 1,050 MW.

The project will be situated adjacent to the existing Genesee Units 1-3. The plant has been operating at this site since 1989. The existing three units burn coal from the nearby Genesee Coal Mine. Units 1 and 2 each have a nameplate capacity of 410 MW (gross), and Unit 3 has a nameplate capacity of 495 MW (gross). The proposed project would increase the plant’s electrical output by approximately 80% (up to an additional 1,050 MW gross) for a combined total gross nameplate capacity of up to 2,365 MW at the Genesee site.

In December 2012, Capital Power announced the development of this project, formerly called the Capital Power Energy Centre. The earliest in-service date is currently expected to be in 2017, said a November 2013 project description that Capital Power filed with the federal agency. Construction could be in two phases with each phase’s capacity being approximately equal. The expected life for the facility is about 35 years.

“The Project is being developed to meet expected increases in Alberta’s power requirements, arising both from continued economic growth in the Province and from the expected retirements of existing coal generating units in the 2020 timeframe,” the description said.

The project consists of two “1-on-1” units, each consisting of a single natural gas turbine paired with a heat recovery steam generator, and a single steam turbine. The project will make effective use of the existing infrastructure, specifically, utilization of the existing river water intake, pumphouse, Genesee cooling pond, and point of discharge to a nearby river.

Electricity generated by the project will be transmitted to the Genesee substation owned by EPCOR via an approximately 200-meter overhead 500-kV power line. The project is anticipated to supply 1,020 MW net of electricity to the Alberta power grid.

Capital Power (TSX: CPX), at a Dec. 5, 2013, investor day event, announced a number of positive corporate developments, including a development agreement with ENMAX Corp. for the gas-fired Genesee project. Capital Power said it will lead the construction of the Genesee 4 and 5 project and will be the operator of the facility. Construction is expected to be completed between 2018 and 2020 when additional generation is required to meet growing demand and to replace generation from the retirement of coal-fired units in the province.

“I’m excited about the prospect to have ENMAX as our partner in the Genesee 4 & 5 facility in Alberta,” said Brian Vaasjo, President and CEO of Capital Power, in the Dec. 5 announcement. “This agreement builds on a similar partnership that we have on the Shepard Energy Centre and reinforces our leadership position in the attractive Alberta market.”

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.