Chief among these is a 1,000 MW facility that will provide enough electricity for about two thirds of Calgary's requirements.
The facility will be using the best available gas technology and will produce less than half the CO(2) per MW than current coal plants.
In a prepared statement, Gary Holden, CEO of ENMAX Energy said: "As Calgary's electricity demand continues to grow, we need to build cleaner generation facilities that are better for the environment and closer to the city.
"We also need to secure lower cost sources of new electricity for our EasyMax customers when they come to renew their contracts. We have a responsibility to continue to seek the best overall resources for our customer base.
"On one of the two possible sites we're evaluating, we also intend to use waste heat from this facility to provide heat to an associated light industrial park in the surrounding area. In this way, we could maximize the plant's energy efficiency, while also enabling job creation and economic development.
"Our vision is that our customers will have access to state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive generation across the province that will optimize existing infrastructure. This plant will become the template for future plants in Alberta because it is cleaner and can be located closer to customers."
This project will present solutions to several existing Alberta system issues:
1. It will help firm up the southern transmission grid, which will contribute greatly to the development of additional wind farms, by assisting in overcoming the challenge of intermittent production.
2. It will have a dramatic impact in reducing transmission line losses (electricity lost as heat when transported over wires).
3. It will go a long way to meeting the Province's CO(2) intensity targets for the electricity sector.
"Our long-term plan is to have 100% of our customers' needs matched by renewable energy, cogeneration or the best available clean coal or gas technology by the time current power purchase agreements are terminated. This project is a very important step in that direction," adds Holden.
Another major project is the construction of a 120 MW natural gas-fired peaking power plant near Crossfield, about 10 kms north of Airdrie. The Crossfield Energy Centre is scheduled to be generating electricity by mid 2009.