Alberta Sundance power station

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Sundance is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by TransAlta in Alberta, Canada.

Units 1-2 are planned for closure in 2018, and the remaining power station is planned for conversion to gas-burning in 2021-2023.


The undated satellite photo below shows the plant, located 70 kilometers west of Edmonton, Alberta on the south shore of Wabamun Lake.

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The facility is the largest coal-fired electrical generating facility in western Canada, with a total of six generating units. The plant is located 70 kilometers west of Edmonton, Alberta on the south shore of Wabamun Lake.[1]

Unit commissioning dates consist of:[1]

  • Unit 1 - 280 MW - 1970;
  • Unit 2 - 280 MW - 1973;
  • Unit 3 - 380 MW - 1976;
  • Unit 4 - 380 MW - 1976;
  • Unit 5 - 380 MW - 1977;
  • Unit 6 - 433 MW - 1980.


In February 2011, TransAlta said it will be closing operations at two of the Sundance coal-fired units because repairs would be too costly. The Sundance 1 and 2 units have been down since December 2010. The units comprise 560 MW of the 2,126 MW Sundance power plant, which operates as a baseload facility for the Alberta electricity system.[2]

The closing of the units could cost consumers more than $200 million in unrealized refunds through Alberta’s Balancing Pool. The agency that oversees power purchase agreements would have to pay that amount to TransAlta as net book value of the plants and to TransCanada as partial payment on the remainder of its contract. TransCanada holds the Sundance units' power purchase agreement and expects reimbursement.[2]

In 2011 TransAlta brought units 1-2 back online because it was demanded under the company’s PPA agreement with TransCanada.[3]

In April 2017 TransAlta said it plans to retire Sundance Units 1-2 effective January 1, 2018, but the utility is seeking approval to have unit 2 on reserve between 2019 and 2021. Additionally, TransAlta plans conversion of Sundance Units 3 to 6 from coal-fired generation to gas-fired generation in the 2021 to 2023 timeframe, for use until the mid-2030s.[4]

Coal supply

TransAlta's Highvale coal mine supplies Sundance with coal.[5]

Plant Data

  • Owner: TransAlta Centralia Generation LLC
  • Parent Company: TransAlta
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,133 MW (Units 1-2: 280 MW, Units 3-5: 380 MW, Unit 6: 433 MW)
  • In-Service Dates: 1970-1980
  • Location: Wabamun, AB
  • GPS Coordinates:
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: TransAlta's Highvale coal mine
  • Number of Employees:

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Sundance" TransAlta Company Website, accessed April 30, 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "TransAlta issues notice of termination for Sundance units" Power-Gen, Feb. 10, 2011.
  3. "Economics lead to early coal shutdowns, improved possibilities for health and jobs," Pembina Institute, April 20, 2017
  4. "TransAlta Board Approves Plan for Accelerating Transition to Clean Power in Alberta," TransAlta, Apr 19, 2017
  5. "Highvale" TransAlta Mine Page, accessed May 5, 2010.

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