TransAlta achieves full phase-out of coal in Canada

TransAlta Corp. (TSX: TA; NYSE: TAC) achieved full phase-out from coal-fired electricity generation in Canada when it finished the last of three […]
TransAlta transitioned to natural gas power generation and closed its last coal mine by the end of last year. Credit: TransAlta Corp.

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TransAlta Corp. (TSX: TA; NYSE: TAC) achieved full phase-out from coal-fired electricity generation in Canada when it finished the last of three planned coal-to-gas conversions at its Keephills Unit 3 (KH3) power generation plant near Wabamun, Alta., late last month.

"Converting to natural gas from coal maintains the current generation capacity of KH3 and reduces our CO2 emissions by almost 50% from approximately 0.86 tonnes CO2-equivalent per MWh to approximately 0.43 tonnes CO2-equivalent per MWh," said president and CEO John Kousinioris in a news release. "This not only highlights TransAlta's continued commitment to meet Alberta's need for safe, reliable and low-cost electricity but also delivers a step-change reduction in the emissions from our converted units."

The coal-to-gas conversion at KH3 required a $29-million investment, plus another $38 million for gas infrastructure and maintenance projects. At its peak, the project provided nearly 600 construction jobs.

TransAlta spent a total of $295 million on its coal-to-gas program that included conversion of Sundance Unit 6 in the first quarter of 2021, conversion of Keephills Unit 2 in the third quarter of 2021, conversion of Sheerness Units 1 and 2, plus construction of new high volume gas delivery infrastructure.

With successful completion of the KH3 conversion and the planned closure of the Highvale coal mine on Dec. 31, 2021, TransAlta's thermal facilities in Alberta are now a 100% natural gas operation. In aggregate, TransAlta has retired 3,794 MW of coal-fired generation capacity since 2018 while converting 1,659 MW to cleaner burning natural gas.

TransAlta is a growing clean energy provider whose portfolio includes hydro, wind, solar and battery assets. Learn More at www.TransAlta.com.

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