Alberta government’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) initiative will accelerate emissions reduction says TransAlta CEO

Jul 8, 2008

CALGARY, Alberta (July 8, 2008) – Steve Snyder, TransAlta Corporation’s (TSX:TA;NYSE:TAC), President and CEO, today applauded the Alberta government’s commitment to provide $2 billion in funding for the development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology, saying CCS is vital if Canada is to achieve its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent from current levels by 2020.

“We commend Premier Stelmach for his leadership and for his government’s commitment to make CCS a reality,” said Mr. Snyder. “CCS has the potential to contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity and dramatically reduce our environmental footprint at the same time. Given its thermal assets, storage potential and access to world leading energy expertise, Alberta is an ideal location to demonstrate the benefits of this technology, which can then be applied elsewhere in Canada, the U.S. and around the world.”

In April, 2008, TransAlta and Alstom Canada – a world leader in power generation technology, announced they had entered into an agreement to develop a large-scale CCS facility in Alberta. The project will pilot Alstom Canada’s proprietary chilled ammonia process. TransAlta considers this process as one of the more promising, and potentially lowest cost solutions for CCS. TransAlta’s plan with Alstom is to test the technology at one of its coal-fired generating stations west of Edmonton, Alberta. TransAlta, the project’s operating partner, is applying for government funding to conduct a feasibility study, the first phase of the project.

“Once operational, TransAlta’s CCS project is expected to have a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions, reducing our current CO2 emissions by one million tonnes per year by 2013 while continuing to provide affordable electricity for Albertans,” said Mr. Snyder. “The government’s historic funding initiative is key to accelerating CCS projects across Alberta.”

TransAlta is a power generation and wholesale marketing company focused on creating long-term shareholder value. We maintain a low-risk profile by operating a highly contracted portfolio of assets in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia. Our focus is to efficiently operate our coal-fired, gas-fired, hydro and renewable facilities in order to provide our customers with a reliable, low-cost source of power. For nearly 100 years, we’ve been a responsible operator and a proud contributor to the communities where we work and live.

This news release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the business and anticipated financial performance of TransAlta Corporation. These statements are based on TransAlta Corporation’s belief and assumptions based on information available at the time the assumption was made. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause such differences include legislative or regulatory developments, competition, global capital markets activity, changes in prevailing interest rates, currency exchange rates, inflation levels, unanticipated accounting or audit issues with respect to our financial statements or our internal control over financial reporting, plant availability, and general economic conditions in geographic areas where TransAlta Corporation operates. By its nature, such forward-looking information is subject to various risks and uncertainties, which could cause TransAlta’s actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is given as of the date of this news release or as otherwise stated. TransAlta undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Note: All financial figures are in Canadian dollars unless noted otherwise.

For more information:

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Michael Lawrence
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Phone: (403) 267-7330

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Phone: (403) 267-7622
Fax: (403) 267-2590

Jess Nieukerk
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Phone: (403) 267-3607