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Story by PennEnergy

ENMAX Corporation and Capital Power Corporation (TSX: CPX) have announced that the Shepard Energy Center (Shepard) located in east Calgary is now fully operational and capable of generating over 800 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the Alberta grid. Fueled by natural gas, the facility is the largest of its kind in the province and an important step in Alberta’s transition away from aging coal-fired generation facilities.

“We delivered Shepard as planned without a lost-time injury in the more than 4.3 million hours of work required to complete the project,” said Gianna Manes, ENMAX President and CEO. “With this crucial infrastructure added to Alberta’s electricity system, we will bring reliable electricity to Albertans for decades to come.”

First announced by ENMAX in 2007, the project became a joint venture when Capital Power agreed to become a 50 percent owner in late 2012.

“Congratulations and thanks to the team at ENMAX for their excellent work on completing Shepard on time and on budget with zero lost time incidents, which is a major accomplishment in the Alberta market,” said Brian Vaasjo, President and CEO of Capital Power. “We look forward to continuing to work with ENMAX to deliver Genesee 4 & 5, Alberta’s next large natural gas-fueled generation facility near the end of the decade.”

Powered by natural gas, Shepard features combined-cycle technology that has two combustion turbines to generate electricity plus makes use of waste heat through a steam turbine for further electricity production. This configuration makes the Shepard gas-fueled facility approximately 30 percent more efficient than conventional coal plants, all while reducing overall fuel costs.

Additionally, Shepard emits less than half the CO2 emissions per megawatt hour of a conventional coal plant, as well as fewer carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide gases. The facility’s cooling towers also use 14 million liters of reclaimed water daily from The City of Calgary’s Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant.