Phasing Out Coal


“We want Albertans and our government to know that we agree that this is the primary objective and that we will continue to be at the table every step of the way to ensure that our journey towards sustainability is thoughtful and fact-based.”

Dawn Farrell, President and CEO, TransAlta

Older plants are being taken off line and new technologies will meet higher environmental expectations.

Let’s accomplish it without job losses in rural communities or driving up electricity costs for consumers.

Your views matter.

A message from Dawn Farrell

The transition from coal is already well underway, and in most cases will be measured in years rather than decades. In Alberta, the next major closures will be in 2019, and by 2030, Canada will have only a handful of highly efficient coal plants — with all of the old-technology plants closed.


TransAlta started addressing greenhouse gases (GHG) in 1990 as the first purchaser of carbon credits. Over the years, we’ve worked to find proactive and innovative solutions to ensure both environmental progress and economic sustainability.

The federal government requires coal plants retire at the end of their useful life; generally 50 years from the unit’s commissioning date. So units that were commissioned before 1975 will reach their end-of-life after 50 years of operation or at the end of 2019, whichever comes earlier.

Units that were commissioned after 1975 will have to close by the end of 2029 unless they meet stricter emission standards. TransAlta’s only remaining facility will be Keephills 3, a coal facility opened in 2011 that uses new technology that reduces GHG emissions standards, compared to the older plants.