TransAlta is concerned about climate change. We have taken a leadership role to find solutions to the growing concern of greenhouse gas emissions from coal facilities. Despite an uncertain policy and regulatory environment, we are moving forward to help find a global solution to greenhouse gas emissions from coal facilities.
TransAlta’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) pilot, Project Pioneer, received more than $770 million in funding from federal and provincial governments in 2009. The funding is part of the government of Canada’s $1 billion Clean Energy Fund, and the government of Alberta’s $2 billion fund for CCS projects.
Project Pioneer is a fully integrated CCS project that will be built as a retrofit to Keephills 3, a supercritical 450 megawatt (MW) sub-bituminous coal-fired power plant currently under construction by TransAlta and Capital Power Corporation. It will involve the transportation and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in both geological sequestration and enhanced oil recovery.
The public-private partnership brings together Alstom, a global leader in energy technology with expertise in chilled ammonia carbon capture, Capital Power, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
The chilled ammonia process was chosen because it can be used to retrofit TransAlta’s existing coal-based generating facilities in Alberta. It is viewed as the most promising and lowest cost approach to CCS, with further development expected to be applied to other emission sources. Alstom’s chilled ammonia process:
- cools and cleans flue gas
- absorbs and separates the CO2 stream
- compresses the CO2, cools it and converts the gas to a supercritical liquid phase suitable for pipeline transportation and storage
In 2010, preliminary front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies will take place. The project will be one of the world’s first fully integrated CCS projects for coal-fired power plants, and is expected to be in operation in 2015. Once operational, it will remove one million tonnes of CO2 annually from the Keephills 3 facility.
Project Pioneer Timeline
- 2009 – Federal and provincial funding awarded
- 2010 – FEED and development work
- 2011 – Detailed engineering
- 2012 – On-site construction begins
- 2014 – Construction slated for completion
- 2015 – Fully operational Project Pioneer contributes to the Government of Alberta’s reduction of annual CO2 emissions