A Canadian utility has committed to phasing out its coal-fired power plants years ahead of deadlines set by the Alberta provincial government. TransAlta CEO Dawn Farrell said at the company’s annual meeting that it will shut some coal units by 2018, while converting others to natural gas, to be free of coal-fired power plants by the end of 2023, six years ahead of schedule. Under the coal phase-out plan, TransAlta will shut down 560 megawatts of generation from Sundance Unit 1 and 2 by the start of 2018, two years ahead of a federal deadline. The company also committed to convert three other Sundance units and two Keephills units, representing about 2,400 MW of capacity, from coal to gas by 2023, which it says will extend the life of the units into the mid-2030s. The Alberta government has committed to phasing out coal-fired power plants by 2030, and has a target of 30 percent of power coming from renewables by that date.

– via The Globe and Mail

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