Our economic impact
TransAlta has been a vital part of the communities it serves for 100 years. Our primary impact is as provider of an essential service. TransAlta is a significant source of electricity in all of our jurisdictions, powering industry, business, homes, community infrastructure and services such as hospitals, schools and other community services.
When we build power facilities, we join local communities for an extended period; some of our facilities are 100 years old and we have been an important provider of jobs, and a vital and consistent contributor to local tax bases and supporter of community initiatives. More recently, we have entered several new communities across Canada through our wind farm operations and we work closely with these communities to ensure our presence will be mutually beneficial.
Our Centralia operations exemplify this impact:
- TransAlta provides 10 per cent of Washington State’s energy needs and keeps the region’s electricity grid reliable; our power supports local utility needs and provides affordable and reliable electricity. We invest in new technologies and as per our PPA, do not pass the costs on
- TransAlta has one of the largest business enterprises in the southern Washington region
- Centralia is one of the cleanest coal plants in North America. We have invested $300 million to improve environmental performance. State-of-the-art scrubber technology was installed in 2001/2002. Today, 99 per cent of particulate matter, 98 per cent of sulphur dioxides and more than 50 per cent of nitrogen oxides are removed from Centralia’s emissions. We continue to invest today
- We are committed to working with the state and stakeholders to develop a practical approach to reducing our carbon footprint
- On average, the company injects nearly $100 million or more into the local and state economy every year
- Salary and benefits are more than twice the average in the county
- As fourth largest employer, more than 60 per cent of our employees live in the county, the rest are from neighbouring counties
- Annual maintenance brings in specialized labour, meaning additional spending into the local community
- TransAlta has invested more than $10 million in local programs over the last decade
- We are the largest taxpayer in the county and the largest single donor to the United Way
- TransAlta supports Community and Technical Colleges in Washington State including $1 million to launch the Center for Excellence in Energy, annual scholarships and $500,000 to build a new college commons building