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Enmax, Capital Power open Alberta natural gas-fuelled power plant

Facility will produce up to 800 megawatts of electricity annually.


Alberta's largest natural gas-fuelled electricity generation facility now operational PHOTO: ENMAX Corp.

Alberta’s largest natural gas-fuelled electricity generation facility now operational PHOTO: ENMAX Corp.

CALGARY — ENMAX Corp. (ENMAX) and Capital Power Corp. have opened the Shepard Energy Centre in east Calgary, a natural gas fuelled power generation facility that has capacity to produce more than 800 megawatts of electricity annually.

The companies said the facility is the largest of its kind in the province and an important step in the province’s transition away from aging coal-fired power generation.

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

The facility features a 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. The configuration makes the gas-fuelled facility 30% more efficient than conventional coal plants, while reducing overall fuel costs.

It emits less than half the CO2 emissions per megawatt hour of a conventional coal plant, as well as fewer carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide gases. The facility’s cooling towers also use 14 million litres of reclaimed water daily from the City of Calgary’s Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is the first use of reclaimed water for power production in Alberta, replacing the use of potable water to aid long-term water conservation.

Fourteen kilometres of underground pipelines were laid between the two sites. The process also included drilling a tunnel underneath the Bow River and Deerfoot Trail.

The project employed more than 2,600 people during construction.

ENMAX Corp., based in Calgary, generates, distributes, and sells electricity to residential, small business and large commercial customers, with transmission and distribution infrastructure in Calgary and throughout the province.

Capital Power is an Edmonton-based power producer that owns more than 3,100 megawatts of power generation capacity at 16 facilities across North America and owns 371 megawatts of capacity through a power purchase agreement. It has an additional 90 megawatts of owned wind generation capacity under construction in Ontario.

SOURCE ENMAX Corporation

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