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Natural gas generating facilities planned

Richard Gilbert

Capital Power and ENMAX are planning to join forces to develop, construct, own and operate a natural-gas fired generation facility west of Edmonton, Alberta.

“I’m excited about the prospect to have ENMAX as our partner in the Genesee 4 & 5 facility in Alberta,” said Brian Vaasjo, president and CEO of Capital Power.

“This agreement builds on a similar partnership that we have on the Shepard Energy Centre and reinforces our leadership position in the attractive Alberta market.”

Vaasjo, made this comment at Capital Power’s annual Investor Day conference in Toronto on Dec. 5.

He said the companies have signed a Letter of Intent to pursue joint venture agreements for the facility.

Agreements are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014.

Capital Power is proposing to expand its existing Genesee Generating Station (GGS) by constructing and operating a natural gas-fired power plant.

The project will be located next to the existing GGS (Units 1 to 3), which are about 17 kilometres north of the Town of Warburg in Leduc County.

Phase I involves construction and operation of a combined cycle natural gas-fired power plant of about 525 MW gross capacity.

Phase II is identical to Phase I and also involves another modular combine cycle natural gas-fired power plant.

The Phase II footprint will also be located within a brownfield area adjacent to the first phase.

Construction involves site preparation, civil works, installation of major equipment, connection of process and ancillary equipment, and finishing works.

Since site grading has already occurred, there will be limited earth works.

Initial activity involves marking out construction areas, followed by minor earth movement to meet design requirements.

Installation of building and large equipment foundations, as well as steel structural components will take place next.

Then, the concrete flooring will be poured followed by installation of equipment, building walls, roofing, windows, and doors.

After the installation of the equipment, it will be connected by piping and cables for eventual operation.

Each power plant is comprised of three main components: a gas turbine generator; a heat recovery steam generator; and a steam turbine generator.

The turbines will be housed within two large buildings, which will be about 30 metres high and the two gas turbine generator stacks will each be about 80 metres tall.

GGS has been operating at this site since 1989 and the existing three units burn coal from the nearby Genesee Coal Mine to produce electricity.

Units 1 and 2 of the GGS each have a capacity of 410 MW gross, while Unit 3 has a capacity of 495 MW gross.

Capital Power partly owns unit 3 through a joint venture with TransAlta Corp.

Capital Power will lead the construction of the project, which is expected to be completed between 2018 and 2020.

The expansion will occupy about five hectares of land that was previously used as a construction laydown area and is considered a brownfield site.

Genesee 4 and 5 will increase the electrical output of the GGS by about 80 per cent or an additional 1050 MW.

As a result, the combined total capacity of the Genesee site will be about 2,365 MW.

The facility will be operated by Capital Power and is expected to meet increases in Alberta’s power requirements, which are driven by continued economic growth and the expected retirements of existing coal generating units near 2020

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is seeking comments from the public on the project and its potential effects on the environment, in order to decide whether a federal environmental assessment is required.

Capital Power and ENMAX are involved in another joint venture to build the 800 megawatt Shepard Energy Centre, which is a natural gas combined cycle facility located on the southeast edge of Calgary.

The facility is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2015.

Capital Power’s portion of the construction cost is about $821 million.

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