Acquired assets also include Battle River Carbon Hub. [Image credit: Heartland Generation]

By Dale Lunan

Alberta-based utility TransAlta said November 2 it had entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire all of the shares of Heartland Generation from an affiliate of Energy Capital Partners for C$658mn (US$477mn).

Heartland owns and operates 10 gas-fired generating facilities in Alberta and BC with more than 2,660 MW of natural gas-fired generating capacity. The portfolio includes 507 MW of cogeneration capacity, 387 MW of contracted and merchant peaking capacity, 950 MW of gas-fired thermal generation, transmission capacity and a development pipeline that includes the 400 MW Battle River Carbon Hub.

The assets include Alberta Power’s Battle River (550 MW) and Sheerness (800 MW) generating stations in central Alberta, coal-fired facilities which have been successfully converted to burn natural gas.

The Battle River Carbon Hub involves the conversion of the Battle River generating station to a clean energy production hub using hydrogen produced from natural gas to generate electricity and capturing and storing CO2. The Hub was selected in 2022 under Alberta’s Carbon Sequestration Tenure Management process and evaluation of sequestration capabilities is currently underway.

“As the energy transition continues to drive new investment in renewables in the province, our assessment is that the market will require low-cost, highly flexible and fast-responding generation, which will be supportive to grid reliability over the coming years,” TransAlta CEO John Kousinioris said. “This transaction will support us in maintaining our competitive positioning and ensure we have a robust and diversified portfolio, which together with our marketing capabilities, can complement and support a cleaner grid.”

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