Canadian agency mulls review of Sundance 7 power project

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency said July 8 that it is taking public comment until July 28 on whether a federal environmental assessment is required for the proposed, gas-fired Sundance 7 Generating Station Project in Alberta.

The agency will post a decision on its website stating whether an environmental assessment is required. If it is determined that an environmental assessment is required, the public will have three more opportunities to comment on this project.

TransAlta MidAmerican Partnership (TAMA Power) is proposing the construction, operation, and decommissioning of this 856-MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant, to be located approximately 7 kilometers southwest of the Village of Wabamun, Alberta, at the site of an existing coal-fired power plant. The unit will be will be in a 2 x 1 configuration, with two natural gas combustion turbine generators (CTGs), two heat recovery steam generators (HRSGs), and one steam turbine generator (STG).

A project summary filed by the developer with the federal agency in June anticipates an August 2015 construction start for the project, with nine months of commissioning to start in April 2018.

The project contact is: Lois Miller, Environmental Specialist, TransAlta Corp., Telephone: 780-731-6000 Ext 6849, Fax: 780-731-6075, Email: Lois_Miller@transalta.com.

TAMA Power on April 22 filed an application with the Alberta Utilities Commission for approval of the Sundance Unit 7 project. TAMA Power is a joint venture of Canada-based utility holding company TransAlta Corp. (TSX: TA; NYSE: TAC) and U.S. based MidAmerican Energy Holdings.

As for reasons for this project, one application document filed with the Alberta commission said: “Under federal regulations for the coal-fired electricity sector, stringent performance standards for new coal-fired units and units that have reached the end of their useful life will come into effect July 1, 2015. Facilities will be required to meet the [greenhouse gas] GHG emission levels equivalent to a natural gas facility. Per federal government legislation, generating units that were commissioned before 1975 will reach their end-of-life after 50 years of operation or at the end of 2019, whichever comes earlier. Sundance Units 1 and 2 are in this category.”

Sundance, a six-unit, 2,141-MW plant, is the largest coal-fired generating facility in western Canada.

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.