Canadian Manufacturing

Contested coal plant to go ahead

Maxim Power will not have to lower GHGs

EDMONTON—The Alberta government has given the go-ahead to a controversial coal-fired power plant.

Calgary-based energy company Maxim Power can move ahead with the $1.7-billion expansion of its plant near Grande Cache, Alta. without a requirement to lower its GHGs.

The 500 MW HR Milner Expansion Project was contested by environmental groups, which had filed a court challenge of the project’s interim approval. They said the Alberta Utilities Commission rushed the approval to help the company avoid upcoming federal rules on carbon emissions.

Commission spokesman Jim Law says the proposal was given a thorough and fair review under rules that are in effect now.

The plant would emit about twice the carbon dioxide of an equivalent natural-gas-fired plant. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2012. Maxim expects it will be fully commissioned approximately 3 years after that.

Chris Severson-Baker of the environmental think-tank Pembina Institute says his group is considering a further legal challenge.

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