The 900MW Cascade power plant is being developed as a combine-cycle gas turbine power plant in Alberta, West Canada. Credit: Cascade Power Project.
Cascade power plant will include two gas and steam turbines. Credit: Cascade Power Project.
The power plant will receive natural gas via a high pressure supply line. Credit: Cascade Power Project.

Kineticor Resource is developing the 900MW Cascade combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant in Alberta, Western Canada.

The proposed power plant project is estimated to require a total investment of approximately C$1.5bn ($1.12bn).

It will be able to provide power for approximately 900,000 houses and businesses in Alberta. The facility will be equipped with natural gas and steam turbines and will have the capability to produce 50% more electricity compared with a conventional simple-cycle power plant.

The combined-cycle power plant is expected to produce 62% less CO₂ equivalent per MWh compared to current coal-powered electricity generation facilities. Kineticor’s partners in the project include OPTrust and Macquarie Capital. The power plant secured gas supply agreements with Peyto Exploration and Development and Mitsubishi’s subsidiary Cutbank Dawson Gas Resources.

The project will employ more than 500 people during the peak construction period and create over 20 long-term skilled jobs, following the commissioning.

Cascade CCGT location

The power plant will be located approximately 12km southwest of Edson in Yellowhead County.

It will be built on Crown lands on a 52ha site, located west of Section 28, Township 52, Range 18, to the west of the Fifth Meridian. The site is located near existing transmission lines and substations.

The power generation facility will be directly connected to other gas processing facilities in the same area that will reduce the cost associated with gas transportation.

Cascade project development

The Cascade power project completed environmental studies and assessments, as well as engagement with public and indigenous communities in 2018.

Kineticor submitted regulatory applications to the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“The combined-cycle power plant is expected to produce 62% less CO₂ equivalent per MWh compared to current coal-powered electricity generation facilities.”

The company obtained all major approvals for the project from AUC and AEP in February 2020.

The construction of the power plant is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2020 and will be carried out in two phases of 450MW each. The first phase is expected to be completed by October 2022, while the second phase will be completed in the fourth quarter of the same year.

Cascade power plant details and construction

The project will involve the installation of four primary components during each construction phase. The components include a gas turbine, a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), a steam turbine, and a generator in the one-on-one configuration.

The configuration uses a common rotating shaft between the gas and steam turbines to produce power. The power plant will employ both gas and steam power generation technologies.

Cascade will combust natural gas in a gas turbine and generate electric power using a coupled generator. Waste energy from the exhaust of the HRSG is then used to produce steam that will drive the steam turbine generator to produce additional power.

The power plant will need up to 150,000 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas a day as fuel. It will include two H-Class power trains that will deliver a combined output of 900MW. Each power train will consist of an air-cooled condenser (ACC) and a generator step-up transformer (GSU). The make-up water used for the steam cycle will be procured from Edson.

A new high-pressure gas supply line connecting local gas producers to the Cascade power plant will be used to supply natural gas to the project. Gas will also be supplied via a 7km-long tie-line that will act as a back-up. To be constructed and owned by the project developer, the line will measure 12in-16in in diameter.

Other components in the project will include generator step-up transformers, fuel gas treatment equipment, power distribution modules, and a demineralised water treatment facility with storage tanks.

The electricity generated from the power plant will be fed to the Alberta power grid to cater to the electricity demand in the province.

Cascade power plant transmission details

Cascade Power submitted an application to the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) for the approval of transmission system access for the project. The proposal includes the construction of three new 240kV transmission lines of 1km each to connect AltaLink’s existing Bickerdike substation to the Whisky Jack substation within the project site.

Two of the new transmission lines, 1135L and 1084L, will be connected to the Bickerdike Substation in the north side. The third new transmission line 1168L is proposed to be connected to the south of the Bickerdike substation. The existing 973L and 974L transmission lines are planned to be relocated to meet 1168L in the south side.

The existing double circuit transmission line 973L / 974L that currently connects to the north of the Bickerdike substation is planned to be relocated and converted into two separate single transmission lines.

The proposal also includes the addition of four new circuit breakers to Bickerdike 39S substation.