Capital Power pulls plug on proposed $2.4B Genesee carbon capture and storage project

Click to play video: '$2.4B Capital Power carbon capture project cancelled'
$2.4B Capital Power carbon capture project cancelled
A $2.4-billion carbon capture project west of Edmonton has been shelved. Capital Power says it's not economically feasible to carry on with the project at the Genesee power plant. Jasmine King has more on what that means for the technology's future. – May 2, 2024

Edmonton-based Capital Power Corp. says it is no longer pursuing its proposed $2.4-billion carbon capture and storage project at its Genesee natural gas-fired power plant.

The company says it has decided the project at the power plant west of Edmonton is technically viable but not economically feasible.

Capital Power says it may explore carbon capture and storage again in the future as economics improve.

The company has set the goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.

Click to play video: 'The transformation of Genesee: How Capital Power plans to keep the decades-old power plant operating'
The transformation of Genesee: How Capital Power plans to keep the decades-old power plant operating

Alberta’s electricity grid is heavily dependent on natural gas, and many analysts believe that offsetting those emissions will require a mix of wind and solar, hydrogen, nuclear power in the form of small modular reactors, and carbon capture and storage in the future.

Story continues below advertisement

In January, Capital Power said it will partner with Ontario Power Generation to assess the feasibility of developing small modular nuclear reactors to help power Alberta’s electricity grid.

Financial news and insights delivered to your email every Saturday.

They said the feasibility assessment will take two years to complete and will include exploring ownership and operating structures for a potential fleet of grid-scale SMRs in Alberta.

Click to play video: 'Alberta government has new initiative to incentivize the cutting of emissions'
Alberta government has new initiative to incentivize the cutting of emissions

Activist group Environmental Defence said the decision to pull the plug is just the latest failure in carbon capture’s terrible track record.

“It should serve as a lesson for governments on how reckless it is to be using taxpayer dollars to subsidize these projects,” a statement from group said.

Environmental Defence said carbon capture has not been successfully used in the power sector and those that do capture a fraction of the promised rate.

Story continues below advertisement

“Equipping fossil power plants with carbon capture makes fossil fuel generated power even more expensive, while the cost of renewable energy has plummeted.”

The Canadian environmental advocacy organization is calling on governments to invest more in renewable sources of energy like solar and wind.

Last month, the Alberta Court of Appeal dismissed a request for compensation over government policies to phase out coal power.

Altius Royalty Corp., which owns the Capital Power-operated Genesee coal mine that feeds the Genesee power plant southwest of Edmonton, was asking for $190 million in compensation, arguing federal and provincial moves to end such generation over climate and health concerns was a type of expropriation.

— With files from Karen Bartko, Global News

Sponsored content