Capital Power, ENMAX get final approvals for Genesee power project in Alberta

Capital Power Corp. (TSX:CPX) and ENMAX Corp., whose affiliates are joint venture partners on the gas-fired Genesee 4 & 5 project, said Jan. 8 that the project has received all major regulatory approvals required from the Alberta Utilities Commission and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

The joint venture partners also announced that they have executed agreements with Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems for the supply and maintenance of the world’s most advanced J-Class natural gas turbine technology in commercial operation. The facility will have a nominal generation capacity of 1,060 MW consisting of two 530-MW units. The facility is to include two one-on-one, single shaft power islands, each incorporating a 501 J-class natural gas turbine, steam turbine, generator and heat recovery steam generator.

This technology has a lower heat rate than previous technology resulting in higher efficiency and about a 4% reduction in CO2 and NOxemissions compared to the previous generation’s technology. The J-Class technology also provides superior flexibility to respond to sudden fluctuations in supply and demand which makes it well suited for the Alberta power market.

“The Genesee 4 & 5 project promises to deliver superior efficiency and reliability due to its advanced J-Class turbine technology compared to other proposed projects utilizing combined cycle generation technology,” said Brian Vaasjo, President and CEO of Capital Power. “With all major regulatory approvals granted, site preparation is set to begin in mid-2015.”

The completion date of the first unit could be as early as late 2018 depending on market conditions. The commercial agreements include flexibility on the timing of the in-service date for the project, to coincide with the need for additional generation to meet growing demand and to replace generation from the retirement of some coal generating units in Alberta.

The capital cost for the project, excluding interest to fund construction and refundable transmission system contribution payments, is expected to be approximately C$1.4bn. ENMAX will seek required approvals to continue its 50% interest prior to full notice to proceed.

“Genesee 4 & 5 represents another step by ENMAX in continuing our strategy of investing in efficient and reliable gas-fueled generation to meet the electricity needs of Alberta,” said ENMAX President and CEO Gianna Manes.

The facility will be built at Capital Power’s existing Genesee Generating Station located west of Edmonton, Alberta. Its location on a brownfield site guarantees significant cost advantages compared to alternate sites. It is ideal for Alberta’s next large scale generating facility because it will utilize the existing water intake/discharge structures and the existing transmission interconnection, which will connect to the new 500-kV DC line and is within 500 meters of the project. There will also be operations savings from synergies with existing generation units at the site. Capital Power will lead the construction of the project and will be the operator of the facility.

Capital Power is a growth-oriented North American power producer headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta. The company develops, acquires, operates and optimizes power generation from a variety of energy sources. Capital Power owns more than 2,700 MW of power generation capacity at 15 facilities across North America and owns 371 MW of capacity through a power purchase agreement. An additional 490 MW of owned generation capacity is under construction in Alberta and Ontario.

ENMAX, through its subsidiaries, makes, moves and sells electricity to residential, small business and large commercial customers and is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, with offices in Edmonton. ENMAX Power owns and operates transmission and distribution infrastructure in Calgary and ENMAX Energy owns diverse electricity generation facilities throughout the province.

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.