TransCanada Energy Ltd. won a Feb. 11 approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission of changes made in 2014 at its Bear Creek power plant, located in the Grande Prairie area.
TransCanada applied to the commission to alter and operate the Bear Creek power plant, an industrial cogeneration facility located in the Weyerhaeuser Grande Prairie pulp and sawmill complex. The power plant consists of one gas-fired turbine, one heat recovery steam generator and one steam condensing turbine generator.
Replaced in 2014 was the Rolls-Royce Trent 60 DLE gas turbine with a Rolls-Royce 60 WLE turbine because the older model was no longer supported by the manufacturer. The other components of the power plant were not changed. TCE stated it replaced the turbine with a similar make and model and that it viewed the replacement as a continuation of its regular maintenance program. The replacement was conducted during a planned outage at the power plant and was inspected and declared safe for operation under the authority of a qualified professional engineer.
TransCanada met with the commission staff in October 2014 and was directed to file a power plant amendment application, which was what was approved on Feb. 11.
The new turbine has a slightly higher rating than the previous turbine, and has a maximum capability of 64 MW resulting in an increase of the maximum capability for the power plant from 94 MW to 100 MW. The commission chided the company for not applying for this plant change beforehand, since it involved an increase in capacity, but said the project is otherwise approvable.