Sheerness power station

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Sheerness power station is a 790-megawatt (MW) (390 MW coal-fired, 400 MW gas-fired) power station in Alberta, Canada.

In May 2017 ATCO announced it planned to transition the power plant to burn natural gas by 2020, saying it would save money.[1]


The undated satellite photo below shows the Sheerness power station, located 200 kilometers northeast of Calgary near Hanna, Alberta.

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The power plant’s two generating units produce 5.5 million megawatt-hours of energy annually. Each unit consists of one boiler, a turbine and a generator.

The Sheerness cooling pond, which is filled from the Red Deer River, which is also the main source of water for the town of Hanna and surrounding communities, irrigation water for farmers, and a recreation area.

Sheerness is fueled by coal from the nearby Sheerness coal mine.[2]

In February 2019 ATCO applied to the Alberta Utilities Commission to convert the plant to run on gas by 2020.[3][4]

In September 2019 ATCO sold Sheerness power station as well as Battle River power station to Heartland Generation Ltd., as subsidiary of American company Energy Capital Partners.[5]

On a November 2020 call with TransAlta shareholders the President of TransAlta Renewables John Kousinioris said that the timeline for converting the station to run on gas was 2021 or possibly later.[6]

The conversion of Sheerness Unit 1 to gas was completed in early 2021, and the unit returned to service on March 21, 2021. As of May 2021, the conversion of unit 2 is underway, with expected completion in the second quarter of 2021.[7]

TransAlta pays for pro-coal research by University of Alberta

In July 2018 it was reported that TransAlta paid the University of Alberta $54,000 in 2015 to hand-pick a professor to generate pro-coal research and talking points to be used in lobbying government officials.[8]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Heartland Generation Ltd.
  • Parent Company: Energy Capital Partners
  • Location: Hanna, AB
  • Coordinates: 51.442222, -111.792222 (exact)
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 790 MW
    • Unit 1: Gas-fired[9][10][11], 400 MW[10] (start-up in 1978, converted from coal in 2021[7])
    • Unit 2: Coal-fired, 400 MW (start-up in 1980)
  • Gross generating capacity (construction): 400 MW
  • Gross generating capacity (retired): 390 MW
    • Unit 1: Coal-fired, 390 MW (start-up in 1978, converted to gas in 2021)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

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