Shepard project owner gets delayed completion deadline

ENMAX Generation Portfolio Inc. (EGPI), the owner of the 800-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle Shepard Energy Centre, won a July 25 approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission for a delay in bringing the project into operation.

EGPI on June 24 had asked the commission for approval of a time extension, from Dec. 31, 2014 to June 30, 2015, of a prior commission project approval in order to complete construction of the power plant.

In its application, EGPI stated that additional time was required due to unanticipated construction-related issues with respect to the supply of natural gas and water. EGPI also stated that it is working to resolve these issues and expects construction to most likely be completed in the first quarter of 2015.

On June 25, EGPI provided further information and context regarding the completion of construction of the Shepard Energy Centre. EPGI stated that completion of construction did not directly relate to the plant’s expected output during commissioning. During the testing and commissioning period the output schedule is released to the Alberta Electric System Operator in accordance with ISO Rule 505.3, and the projected output of the Shepard Energy Centre can be expected to change independently of the construction schedule.

On July 2, ATCO Pipelines submitted a letter to the commission indicating it had completed and commissioned the natural gas transmission facilities required to provide service to EGPI, on May 9. ATCO also submitted that EGPI physically connected its natural gas supply piping to ATCO Pipeline’s flange on June 13 and it had opened the valves to provide gas service to EGPI since June 17. On July 18, EGPI confirmed that the natural gas supply from ATCO Pipelines was currently available for Shepard Energy Centre.

In its response to information requests, EGPI emphasized that the construction delay related to the supply of water. At the end of May, EGPI determined that reclaimed water used by the power plant required filtration. EGPI expected to complete the necessary filtration facilities early in the second quarter of 2015.

Shepard Energy Centre is expected to begin first fire in early August and the facility is on track to begin commercial operations in early 2015, co-owner Capital Power Corp. said July 25 in reporting its financial results for the second quarter.

In 2012, Capital Power agreed to purchase a 50% interest in the Shepard Energy Centre and enter into a joint venture agreement with ENMAX Energy Corp. to construct and operate the facility.

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.