TransAlta to phase out coal power years ahead of Alberta’s deadline

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WATCH ABOVE: All coal-fired plants must be shut down in Alberta by 2030 but one Alberta power provider is working to beat the clock. Tom Vernon reports. – Apr 28, 2017

TransAlta Corp. CEO Dawn Farrell says the company has committed to phase out its coal-fired power plants years ahead of Alberta government deadlines.

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting Thursday, Farrell said the company will shut some coal units by 2018, while converting others to natural gas to be free of coal-fired power plants by the end of 2023, six years ahead of a deadline set by the provincial government.

READ MORE: Alberta makes deal with power producers to phase out coal by 2030

The move comes after what the board of directors said was the most significant period in many years as the company reached an agreement with the Alberta government on compensation for phasing out coal.

The board awarded Farrell $2.73 million in incentive compensation as part of her $7.39 million total compensation for what it said was extraordinary leadership, but shareholders disagreed, voting Thursday against a non-binding resolution on the executive compensation plan with 53 per cent opposed.

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READ MORE: Ottawa announces plan to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2030

The coal phase-out plan has TransAlta shutting down the 560 megawatts of generation from Sundance Unit 1 and 2 by the start of 2018, two years ahead of a federally required date, while applying to keep open the option of restarting Unit 2 between 2019 and 2021.

The company has also committed to convert three other Sundance units and two Keephills units, representing about 2,400 megawatts of capacity, from coal to gas by 2023, which it says will extend the life of the units into the mid-2030s.

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