The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, has announced that the Canadian Government and the Government of Alberta will partner with EPCOR Utilities Incorporated (EPCOR) and the Canadian Clean Power Coalition in a $33 million research and development project for the advancement of clean coal technology. The funding will be in equal portions from the Canadian Government, through ecoENERGY Technology, EPCOR and the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Energy Research Institute.
This is a front-end engineering design project leading to construction of a full-scale coal gasification power plant aimed at demonstrating advanced clean coal technology. The project is to be located at EPCOR's Genesee Generating Station west of Edmonton and is scheduled for completion in 2009. It is anticipated that the new technology will further reduce emissions of air pollutants associated with coal-fired generation and take advantage of opportunities for carbon capture and storage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero. Should the new technology prove viable, a 500 MW generating station could be in operation as early as 2015.
The Honourable Doug Horner, Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology said, "When we decided to support EPCOR through this study in 2006, Alberta recognized the importance of producing power from our vast coal reserves with reduced environmental impact."
According to the Alberta Government, Canada is ranked tenth in the world in total proven coal reserves with Alberta's 33.6 gigatonnes representing 70 per cent of Canada's reserves. The Government also notes that, "Alberta's coal contains more than twice the energy of all of the province's other non-renewable energy resources, including conventional oil and pentanes, natural gas, natural gas liquids, and bitumen and synthetic crude."