Excess heat from Crowsnest compressor station is used to produce emissions-free electricity.
What’s good for the public, good for business, and the environment too? TransCanada’s latest effort to use excess heat that would otherwise go to waste fits the bill — for all.
Last month, a new Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) facility, owned by Mistral Power Inc. (Mistral), began commercial operations at TransCanada’s Crowsnest compressor station near Sparwood, B.C. The facility makes use of excess heat from the compressor station to produce up to 6.5 megawatts (MW) of clean, emission-free electricity — enough to power more than 4,000 B.C. households annually.
“Our partnership in this plant is an example of our commitment to minimizing the environmental impacts of our operations while meeting energy demand,” says Mike Brennan, Senior Engineer, System Design & Commercial Operations. “It is a win-win-win for homeowners, TransCanada’s business and the environment.”
At the Crowsnest compressor station, four gas turbines drive compressors, which act like pumps to regulate the pressure and flow of gas through TransCanada’s Foothills System. The WHR system extracts excess heat from three of these turbines and uses it to generate electricity. The heat is used to vaporize a working fluid, which expands and causes a turbine to turn. This turbine is attached to a generator that produces emission-free electricity, equal to the power needs of the homes of nearby Fernie and Sparwood.
The partnership was conceived after a call for clean power projects from BC Hydro, the provincial electricity provider. Built by Mistral on TransCanada’s land, the WHR facility now provides BC Hydro with clean, emission-free electricity that goes into the B.C. grid for public use.
Power across North America
With the new WHR facility at Crowsnest, TransCanada has 17 WHR facilities operating at compressor stations across North America. Together, these can generate more than 60 MW of clean electricity.
Excess heat is also used in large Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) at some of TransCanada’s power plants, including Ravenswood in New York, Ocean State Power in Rhode Island, and Redwater and CanCarb Power, both located in Alberta.
TransCanada owns or has interests in more than 11,800 MW of power generation, enough to power approximately 11 million homes and more than one-third of this power comes from alternative and renewable energy sources.
For more information, visit TransCanada’s Energy webpage.