Maxim Power Corp. announced that it has commissioned the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) expansion of its M2 natural gas-fired power plant, located near Grande Cache, Alberta.

The M2 project began delivering power to the grid in 2020. It replaced the 50 MW M1 project, also known as the HR Milner Generating Station, in the same area. HR Milner was near the end of its federally regulated lifespan.

The CCGT expansion of M2 is expected to increase the maximum generation capacity of the HR Milner site to 300 MW and has been designed to lower operations and maintenance costs per megawatt-hour, Maxim said. The CCGT expansion of M2 captures waste heat that would otherwise exhaust into the atmosphere and converts it into low-carbon dispatchable electricity for the Alberta power grid.

The estimated final project cost of the CCGT expansion of M2 is $164 million, excluding borrowing costs and the net effect of $20 million of grant proceeds.

Construction of the heat recovery technology required to expand M2 into a CCGT facility began in 2021, and the project was originally expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2022. Commissioning was delayed due to a non-injury fire on Sept. 30, 2022, which caused damage to M2’s air inlet filter house.

Repairs were completed in August of 2023 to allow for the recommencement of commissioning activities. M2 began generating intermittent electricity to the grid on Aug. 14, 2023, and achieved CCGT commercial operations on Oct. 24, 2023.

This milestone completes the coal-to-gas energy transformation and repowering project at the HR Milner site, which saw over $300 million of investment and converted the legacy 150 MW coal-fired facility into a 300 MW CCGT facility. The CCGT expansion of M2 is expected to reduce the intensity of carbon emissions by more than 60% compared to the legacy coal-fired HR Milner facility.

Construction began on the M2 project in 2019.

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