TransAlta

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TransAlta Corporation
Type Public
Traded as TSXTA
NYSETAC
S&P/TSX 60 component
Industry Electricity
Founded 1911
Headquarters Calgary, AB, Canada
Key people Dawn Farrell, President & CEO, Ambassador Gordon D. Giffin (Board Chair)
Products Natural Gas, Coal, Wind, Hydro, Geothermal
Revenue $2.8 billion CAD (2010)
Total assets $9 billion CAD (2010)
Employees 2,400+ (2011)
Website www.transalta.com

TransAlta Corporation (formerly Calgary Power) is an electricity power generator and wholesale marketing company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. It operates over 70 power plants in Canada, the United States and Australia. TransAlta operates geothermal, wind, hydro, natural gas and coal power generation facilities. The company has been recognized for its leadership on sustainability by the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, the FTSE4Good Index and the Jantzi Social Index. TransAlta is Canada's largest investor-owned renewable energy provider.

Early history[edit]

In 1909, the company began the planning and construction of the Horseshoe Falls Hydro Plant in Seebe. Two years later, Calgary Power Company, Limited was born.

That first dam was built by a crew of about 200 with primitive tools, such as picks and wheelbarrows. It initially had a 10 MW capacity (13,500 horsepower).[1] Its second dam was commissioned in 1913 at Kananaskis Falls and was built by close to 500 workers.

At the time, streetcars were responsible for a significant share of Calgary’s electrical load. Residential power was just being introduced, and many homes were lit for the first time with electrical lamps because of Calgary Power. Calgary Power's cheap power is credited with Canadian Pacific Railway's decision to locate its regional engine repair shop in Ogden, Calgary spurring Calgary's economic development.[2]

Notable leaders from the company’s early years included W. Max Aitken, eventually Lord Beaverbrook, and R.B. Bennett, who went on to become Canada’s Prime Minister from 1930 to 1935.

In 1981, the company changed its name to its current name of TransAlta Corporation.

Generation summary:

  • 8,245 megawatts (MW) of net capacity in operation.
  • 48,614 gigawatt hours (GWh) were produced at an average plant availability of 88.9 per cent for the year ended December 31, 2010.
  • Over 70 facilities in three geographies: Canada, U.S., Australia
  • One surface coal mine in operation: Highvale in Alberta, Canada

Net Capacity Owned by Fuel Type
(in operation and in development)

Type Net Capacity
Coal 52%
Gas 22%
Wind 13%
Hydro 11%
Geothermal 2%

Net Capacity Owned by Geography
(in operation and development)

Geography Net Capacity
Canada 74%
United States 23%
Australia 3%

At the end of 2010, TransAlta became the first company to own and operate more than 1,000 MW of installed wind capacity in Canada - almost 30 per cent of the country's total.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jennings, A. Owen (1911). Merchants and manufacturers record of Calgary. Calgary: Jennings Publishing Company. p. 85. 
  2. ^ Foran, Max (1982). Calgary, Canada's frontier metropolis : an illustrated history. Windsor Publications. p. 76. ISBN 0-89781-055-4. 

External links[edit]