TransAlta completes 2nd of 3 planned Alberta plant conversions to natural gas

A woman walks towards the entrance of the TransAlta headquarters building in Calgary, on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

TransAlta Corp. has taken another step in its goal of becoming carbon neutral by converting the second of three planned coal-to-gas conversions at its Alberta Thermal power generation facilities near Wabamun.

The conversion of Keephills Unit 2 to natural gas is part of the Calgary company’s plan to entirely generate clean energy in Alberta by the end of the year.

TransAlta has said it wants to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent, or 19.7 million tonnes by 2030 over 2015 levels and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

READ MORE: Alberta utility TransAlta vows to be carbon neutral by 2050 as it notes $167M loss 

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Chief executive John Kousinioris says the latest conversion maintains its current generation capacity and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than half to about 0.51 tonnes CO2e per MWh.

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The Keephills conversion cost $31.5 million while another $64.7 million was spent on system upgrades, gas infrastructure and maintenance projects.

It was the second conversion project after Sundance Unit 6 was converted in February. Keephills Unit 3 will be converted later this year.

“This not only highlights TransAlta’s commitment to meet Alberta’s need for safe, reliable and low-cost electricity but also our commitment to meet our sustainability goals focused on clean electricity generation,” stated Kousinioris.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about TransAlta.

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