800-MW Shepard gas plant comes online in East Calgary

ENMAX and Capital Power (TSX:CPX) said March 11 that the 800-MW Shepard Energy Centre in east Calgary is now fully operational.

The C$1.4bn natural gas-fueled power plant is the largest of its kind in the Alberta Province and marks a key step in Alberta’s transition away from aging coal-fired generation facilities, the developers said.

First announced by ENMAX in 2007, the project became a joint venture when Capital Power agreed to become a 50% owner in late 2012.

“We delivered Shepard as planned without a lost-time injury in the more than 4.3 million hours of work required to complete the project,” said ENMAX President and CEO Gianna Manes. “With this crucial infrastructure added to Alberta’s electricity system, we will bring reliable electricity to Albertans for decades to come,” Manes said.

“We look forward to continuing to work with ENMAX to deliver Genesee 4 & 5, Alberta’s next large natural gas-fuelled generation facility near the end of the decade,” said Capital Power President and CEO Brian Vaasjo.

Powered by natural gas, Shepard features combined-cycle technology that has two combustion turbines to generate electricity plus makes use of waste heat through a steam turbine for further electricity production. This configuration makes the Shepard gas-fueled facility approximately 30% more efficient than conventional coal plants, the companies said in a news release.

The plant could generate about half of Calgary’s current energy needs, according to a four-minute video released by the companies.

The power plant is located in the Shepard Industrial Park. The facility’s cooling towers also use 14 million liters of reclaimed water daily from The City of Calgary’s Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In 2009 Mitsubishi was named as supplier of two 240 MW natural gas-fueled turbines, and one 320 MW steam turbine and associated generators. Kiewit Energy Canada and Black & Veatch were named as contractors to build the plant in the spring of 2011.

Construction on the project began in the fall of 2011. The number of construction workers peaked at almost 1,110 during summer 2014.

Headquartered in Alberta, Capital Power owns more than 3,100 MW of power generation capacity at 16 facilities across North America and owns 371MW of capacity through a power purchase agreement. An additional 90 MW of owned wind generation capacity is under construction in Ontario.

ENMAX through its subsidiaries, generates, distributes, 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 Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.