April 13th, 2024

Capital Power gets ‘limited’ OK for carbon capture and storage facility near Edmonton

By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on December 2, 2022.


The Capital Power board has given the initial “limited” approval to proceed with major carbon capture upgrades and storage facility near its Edmonton-area natural gas power plants.

That was announced at the Alberta-based company’s investors day on Thursday in Edmonton. It marks the strongest intentions yet among dozens of carbon capture proposals in Alberta, including one being advanced in Medicine Hat.

“(It) reflects the positive interim results from the front-end engineering design (FEED) study and continued progress on the programs the Alberta and federal governments have taken to encourage and accelerate deployment of CCS technology,” said Brian Vaasjo, president and CEO of Capital Power.

The facility would capture emissions from Capital’s power plant complex at Genessee, west of Edmonton, which has been converted to burn natural gas instead of coal. If built, up to 3 million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide emissions from the plants would be sequestered at the Wabumum Open Access Hub being developed by agreement by Enbridge.

Such “Hubs” are now being studied across the province to create a regional network of underground storage facilities to reduce the release of CO2 from industrial processes into the atmosphere.

The City of Medicine Hat is studying the potential to build a 2 million tonne-per-year Hub that could reduce CO2 release from its power plant, along with local industrial plants, by 95 per cent.

Local administrators have said a final go-ahead and budgetary decision might be needed after the city’s 2023-2024 budget, which is currently being debated.

Capital gave no total budget estimate on its project, but said a final investment decision could be made by the third quarter of 2023. The expected three-year construction program would require an average of 580 workers on site.

Solar in Region

Capital also reported it expects the Clydesdale Solar facility near Enchant to come online as planned this month, but said construction costs of the 75-megawatt facility will rise from $102 million to $124 million due to supply chain and inflationary issues.

The solar field has a contract to supply half its production to Labatt Breweries, the makers of Budweiser Beer in Canada.

Grid prices

Capital forecasts power prices on the provincial grid to moderate only slightly in 2023. Capital predicts an average gird price of $136 per megawatt hour next year, compared to a record-setting year-to-date average in 2022 of $147.

It predicts a forward natural gas price for fuel of $4.60 per gigajoule.

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