TransAlta, citing issues in updating its data, drops Alberta hydro approval

The Glacier Power Ltd. unit of TransAlta Corp. (TSX: TA; NYSE: TAC) has dropped, at least for now, a 100-MW hydroelectric project in the Canadian province of Alberta.

It had applied to the Alberta Utilities Commission in May 2014 to extend the approved construction completion deadline date of the Dunvegan Hydroelectric Project, which had been May 30, 2014. Glacier at that point had sought a nine-year extension to the original approval, with plans to construct the project when market conditions improve.

Said a Jan. 16 company letter to the commission: “Glacier has always understood that because of delays to the project, a number of studies, in particular environmental and water flow / ice studies would require updating before the project could proceed. Glacier has reviewed the submissions and information requests from Concerned Residents for Ongoing Service at Shaftesbury (CROSS). It has also reviewed submissions and information requests from other parties who do not have standing in this proceeding, but have been granted the right to participate in the upcoming hearing. It is clear that Glacier’s request for an extension to its AUC approval will require a potentially long and costly hearing process.

“Glacier would therefore like to withdraw its application to extend the approved construction date of the Dunvegan Hydroelectric Project, pursuant to section 21 of the AUC Rules of Practice. It will take steps to update the necessary studies and reapply for the Dunvegan Hydroelectric Project when economic conditions are more favourable.”

The commission on Jan. 21 issued a notice of that withdrawal. “The approval for the power plant issued in 2009 had a condition to complete construction by May 30, 2014,” it noted. “The proposed time extension requested by Glacier Power Ltd. was to complete construction by May 30, 2023. … The approvals to construct the power plant have now expired.”

The project would be located on the Peace River at Dunvegan, Alberta. The 2009 project approval said it would consist of 40 turbine units, with a total generating capacity of 100 MW.

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.