Hanna still wait­ing for an­swers on tran­si­tion from coal

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

The Al­berta Gov­ern­ment’s plan to phase out coal leaves a lot of ques­tions for the fu­ture of Hanna.

Last week the Al­berta Gov­ern­ment made an­other an­nounce­ment on its drive to tran­si­tion away from coal-fired power gen­er­a­tion. It signed agree­ments with ma­jor power com­pa­nies with tran­si­tion pay­ments for in­vest­ments that have been re­duced in value due to the tran­si­tion.

For the Mayor of Hanna, Chris War­wick, he still hasn’t heard any­thing de­fin­i­tive about what will be hap­pen­ing in his com­mu­nity.

One pos­i­tive he has heard that half of the to­tal of 18 coal­fired gen­er­a­tors in the province were rec­om­mended to be con­verted to nat­u­ral gas. He said the Hanna plant is one that was orig­i­nally slated to op­er­ate be­yond 2030.

“It is one of the old­est of the six that was go­ing to op­er­ate past that 2030 date, but by no mean is it an old gen­er­at­ing sta­tion,” he said.” It is hard to say what ATCO will do, but of course be­tween ATCO, Trans Alta and Cap­i­tal Power, they are get­ting about a bil­lion dol­lars un­til the year 2030, so the hope from the re­port is they will in­vest that back into gen­er­a­tion.”

“I have al­ways said the best case sce­nario for Hanna is that it would be con­verted to nat­u­ral gas,” he said, ex­plain­ing that while the coal min­ing re­lated em­ploy­ment would still be lost, the gen­er­a­tion will still be func­tion­ing. also help the town se­cure its wa­ter sup­ply. “It is still a loss of 100-130 jobs so that is still dev­as­tat­ing.” “The very best would be if they just throw this all in the garbage and in­vest in clean burn­ing coal tech­nol­ogy, but that doesn’t look like it is go­ing to hap­pen at all.”

This an­nounce­ment comes on the heels of the Fed­eral It would gov­ern­ment also pledg­ing to phase out coal gen­er­a­tion. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment ap­pears to be more open to work­ing with pro­duc­ers.

“Fed­er­ally, they have made a lit­tle bit of pro­vi­sion with the gen­er­a­tion in Saskatchewan to con­tinue to op­er­ate, and Nova Sco­tia as well,” said War­wick.

A num­ber of al­ter­na­tive en­ergy projects in the area have been an­nounced and are work­ing on ap­provals, how­ever they may not have the same eco­nomic ben­e­fit as ex­ist­ing power sources.

“The prob­lem with so­lar and wind is that it’s great and cre­ates a bunch of jobs for the con­struc­tion phase, but after that is done, there is very lit­tle em­ploy­ment,” he said.

The next ma­jor step is for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the town to meet with the Ad­vi­sory Panel on Coal Com­mu­ni­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.