Capital Power wins approval for 1,050-MW Genesee project

The Alberta Utilities Commission on Aug. 12 approved an application by Capital Power Generation Services Inc. for construction and operation of two natural gas-fired generation units with a total of 1,050 MW of capacity.

The two proposed units, called Genesee Units 4 and 5, would be located on a brownfield site adjacent to the existing Genesee station, approximately 30 kilometers southwest of Stony Plain, Alberta. Capital Power proposed this project to meet expected increases in Alberta’s power requirements arising from continued economic growth, and from the eventual retirements of the existing coal units 1, 2 and 3 a the Genesee site.

Capital Power owns and operates the existing Genesee generating station. Units 1, 2 and 3 are rated at 430 MW, 430 MW and 516 MW respectively, for a total capability of 1,376 MW. Coal for Genesee is supplied by the adjacent Genesee Mine, which is a 50/50 joint venture between Capital Power and U.S.-based Westmoreland Coal.

Capital Power indicated that the new project would use advanced natural gas combined-cycle technology. The project includes 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.

Capital Power’s application was prepared and submitted on the basis of generic equipment. Capital Power explained that it used this approach to best utilize advances in technology and submitted that the final selected equipment for the project would achieve the same or better performance as the generic equipment outlined in the application and will meet or exceed the environmental performance measures predicted in the studies in support of the application.

The project is anticipated to supply approximately 1,020 MW of net electricity to the Alberta Interconnected Electric System (AIES). This power would be transmitted to the AIES through an approximately 200-meter-long, 500-kV transmission line from the high-voltage side of units 4 and 5 generating step-up transformers to the Genesee switchyard owned by EPCOR. Capital Power confirmed that this 200-meter-long transmission line would also be owned by EPCOR.

The Capital Power (TSX: CPX) website says that construction of this project will be in two phases, with each phase being approximately equal. Construction of the first phase of the project is expected to take three years, with the second phase taking an additional year to complete. It is expected to be in-service between 2017 and 2020. The website added: “The Project is being developed to meet anticipated increases in Alberta’s power requirements arising from both continued economic growth in the province and from the expected retirements of existing coal generating units in the 2020 timeframe.”

The natural gas for the project will be supplied by a pipeline to be constructed between a terminal near Drayton Valley and the Genesee site. The pipeline will be designed, constructed, and the regulatory application process managed by TransCanada and the local service provider. 

On April 24, Capital Power and ENMAX Corp. executed a purchase and sale agreement in support of a joint arrangement agreement to jointly develop, construct, and operate the Genesee 4 and 5 project.

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.