The Sundance power plant is the largest coal-fired electrical generating facility in western Canada, with six generating units. As of January 1, 2018, five generating units are active and one unit has been retired. The plant is located 70 kilometers west of Edmonton, Alberta on the south shore of Wabamun Lake.

Plants are designed for optimal efficiency – meaning the highest production and lowest emissions and costs possible. As they age, efficiency can be improved through uprates, which involve updates to technology and replacement of older components such as steam turbines. The improved energy conversion that results from an uprate typically results in lower emissions per megawatt hour and greater production.

An uprate usually occurs only once in a plant’s life. To date, four of Sundance’s six units have been uprated.

A 53-megawatt uprate to Sundance 5 was completed in 2009 at a cost of $75 million. Additionally, a 44-megawatt uprate was completed on Sundance 6 in 2001 and a 53-megawatt uprate on Sundance 4 in 2007.

In May 2015, TransAlta completed a 15-megawatt uprate on Sundance 3.

Environmental Highlights

Our Sundance 5 plant was the location of a mercury control test in 2006, to assess technologies to meet the Alberta government’s goal of reducing mercury emissions by 70 per cent. The test, conducted in conjunction with General Electric, had an overall capture rate of 70 per cent and has subsequently undergone a longer term test at our Keephills facility.

Awards & Recognition

  • Meets ISO 14001 standards – (ISO 14001 is an international standard setting the framework for a holistic and strategic approach to environmental policy, plans and actions)
  • Meets OHSAS 18001 standards – (OHSAS 18001 standards have been set to help companies eliminate or minimize risk to employees and others)
Facts & Figures 

Location: Wabamun, AB
Fuel: Coal
Capacity (MW): 1,186
Ownership: 100%
Operator: Yes
First on-stream: 1970-1980
Revenue Source: Alberta PPA – Merchant
Builder: Yes
Contract Expiry: 2018-2020