TransAlta closes two power generation units at Sundance in Parkland County.
The calendar turning to 2018 means more than just a new year to the province of Alberta and Parkland County: it means significant steps towards the coal phase out, with the province aiming to have no coal-fired power generation by 2030.
In the Tri-Region, the closure of two major coal power units at the Sundance facility by TransAlta occur this year with one of the closures permanent while another unit is simply being mothballed before being converted to natural gas power generation. TransAlta isn't done there as the energy company is slated to shut down three more units over the next 18 months to prepare them for conversion to natural gas.
For decades, coal has provided 40% of the power to the provincial grid. Parkland County has been highly critical of the coal phase out set forward by both the federal and provincial governments, noting they stand to lose substantial non-residential tax revenue through coal plant closures.
Late last year, the county and provincial Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous disagreed on information disseminated by the county in a newsletter regarding the effects of the coal phase out.