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Heartland Generation Ltd. – Battle River Power Plant Amendment, AUC Decision 25493-D01-2020

Link to Decision Summarized

Coal Plant Conversion


In this decision, the AUC considered an application from Heartland Generation Ltd. (“Heartland”) to amend the approval for the Battle River Power Plant to allow Unit No. 5 to operate as a dual fuel coal and natural gas unit until December 31, 2022. The AUC approved the application.

Background

Alberta Power (2000) Ltd. (“Alberta Power”), an affiliate of Heartland Generation Ltd., is the owner of the Battle River Power Plant. The power plant consists of Battle River Unit No. 4 and Unit No. 5.

In Decision 23558-D01-2018, the AUC granted Alberta Power approval to alter the power plant by converting Battle River Power Plant Unit No. 5 from coal-fuelled to natural gas-fuelled. The power plant is currently operating under Approval 25222-D02-2020.

Heartland, on behalf of Alberta Power, filed an application with the AUC for approval to amend the power plant approval to allow Unit No. 5 to operate as a dual fuel coal and natural gas unit until December 31, 2022. Heartland indicated that it intends to convert Unit No. 5 from being a coal-fuelled unit to a dual fuel coal and natural gas unit prior to obtaining a reliable natural gas supply. Heartland stated Unit No. 5 cannot be classified as a natural gas-fuelled unit until a reliable natural gas supply is obtained.

Findings

The AUC accepted that converting Unit No. 5 to operate as a dual fuel coal and natural gas unit prior to 2022 will lower emissions and provide resiliency when natural gas supply is disrupted when compared to operating as a coal-fuelled unit. The AUC also accepted that the proposed amendment does not require additional consultation, given the potential reduction of impacts.

Approval 25222-D02-2020 was updated to state:

6. Unit No. 5 may operate as a dual fuel coal and natural gas unit until December 31, 2022.

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