On October 23, 1891, the Edmonton Electric Lighting and Power Company was granted Letters Patent by Queen Victoria’s representative to the North West Territories. Founded and operated by a group of Edmonton pioneers, the EEL&PC launched its first power plant on December 22, 1891. Powered by a hand-stoked, coal-fired steam boiler on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the generator supplied the fledgling community of 700 with street and building lighting during the evening hours.
In May 1902, a second wave of pioneers took over as EEL&PC became the first municipally-owned electric utility in Canada. During the new century, the utility grew from operating
75 kW of power generation to 1,050 MW by 1979. Along the way it developed one of the world’s first 10,000 kW turbo-generators (1928), Canada’s largest steam boiler (1931) and Canada’s largest thermal plant (1941). In 1970, the still municipally owned operation became Edmonton Power and opened the first North American power plant to have a spring-supported foundation.
Edmonton Power became a regional leader in fossil fuel power generation over the next 25 years, expanding its natural gas-fired Clover Bar plant to 660 MW and developing the first two coal-fired units at Genesee, with a gross capacity of 820 MW.
The third pioneering wave came in the summer of 1995 when EPCOR Utilities Inc. was incorporated as a standalone entity with the City of Edmonton as shareholder. Governed independently by a board of directors, EPCOR moved to capitalize on the deregulation of wholesale and retail power markets. In its first 10 years, EPCOR tripled its consolidated assets and revenues, while also delivering superior shareholder returns. EPCOR paid more than $1.8 billion to its shareholder in dividends, franchise fees and taxes (1996–2008), with dividends growing from $47.4 million the year prior to EPCOR’s incorporation to $130 million in 2008, a compounded rate of 8.1%.
At the dawn of 2009, EPCOR owned and/or operated 3,100 MW of generation capacity in North America from 31 separate generating stations and had an additional 650 MW of power generation capacity under construction.
From its roots on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, EPCOR had developed a North American presence and a reputation for environmental and operational leadership.
Today, Capital Power and its employees continue this pioneering history. Our vision is to be one of North America’s most respected, reliable and competitive power generators.
Our success is defined by how well we:
Create value for our investors, customers, and stakeholders.
Protect the health, safety and environment of our employees and communities.
Excel at developing, building, acquiring, operating and optimizing power generation from a diverse range of fuels.
The following outline of Capital Power’s history has been adapted from
Candles to Kilowatts, with permission from the Edmonton Power Historical Foundation.
Edmonton Electrical Lighting and Power Company becomes the first municipally-owned electric utility in Canada.
Rossdale coal power plant is built.
Rossdale switches from coal to gas. By the end of 1955, all of the boilers at the Rossdale Plant burned natural gas.
The Electrical Distribution and Power Plant departments combine to form Edmonton Power. Clover Bar Generating Station built in response to growing demand for electricity during the 1960s and into the 1970s.
EPCOR Utilities Inc. formed. The formation of EPCOR Utilities Inc. marked the first merger of natural gas, power and water utilities in Canada. The universal brand name EPCOR was introduced in 2001.
EPCOR's 249-MW combined-cycle natural gas-fired Frederickson facility located near Tacoma, Washington, began commercial operation.
Genesee Unit 3 in Alberta completed. G3 features the first use of supercritical combustion in Canada.
EPCOR Power L.P. launchesEPCOR's 30.6% ownership interest in EPCOR Power L.P. was acquired from TransCanada for $529 million. At the time of acquisition, the EPCOR Power L.P.'s 11 power generating facilities in Canada and the U.S. had a total capacity of 869 megawatts. At the time of Capital Power’s IPO in 2009, EPCOR Power L.P. had interests in 20 generation plants, with total electrical capacity of 1,668 MW .
Kingsbridge 1 Wind Power Project in Ontario comes on line.
Construction began on Keephills 3, a 495-W (net) supercritical coal-fired unit utilizing the same technology as Genesee 3, west of Edmonton, Alberta, in partnership with TransAlta Corporation.
On July 9, 2009, Capital Power successfully completed an initial public offering of common shares. EPCOR retained a significant majority, representing, at the time, more than 70% of the common equity. The company’s common shares began trading on the TSX (symbol CPX) on June 26, 2009.
Announced acquisition of a portfolio of renewable development sites (10 wind, 4 solar) in the United States.
Received approvals to begin construction on Genesee 4 & 5 in Alberta.
Shepard Energy Centre, a joint-venture natural gas gas facility with ENMAX, begins commercial operations in Alberta.
K2 Wind, a joint partnership with Samsung and Pattern Energy Group, begins commercial operations in Ontario.
Commenced construction of and commissioned our first solar project, Beaufort Solar in North Carolina.
Executed a contract with Allianz Risk Transfer to swap the market revenue of Bloom Wind for 10 years and secured a tax-equity investment with the Goldman Sachs Alternative Energy Group.
Commenced construction of Bloom Wind in Kansas.
Arrived at a satisfactory coal phase-out agreement with the Government of Alberta on compensation for the early retirement of our coal assets.
Bloom Wind received recognition as North American Wind Deal of the Year.
Acquired the 795-MW natural gas-fired combined-cycle Decatur Energy Center in Alabama.
Acquired 294-MW contracted thermal portfolio consisting of two natural gas-fueled generation facilities in Ontario and two renewable waste heat assets in British Columbia.
Began commercial operation of the 178-MW Bloom Wind project in Kansas.
Completed innovative biomass co-firing research project at the Genesee Generating Station to test integrating biomass as a supplemental fuel source in order to reduce coal usage and achieve early emission reductions.
Executed a contract for the 99-MW New Frontier Wind project in North Dakota.
Executed an exclusive agreement with Siksika Resource Developments Limited to jointly develop new renewable and natural gas generation on the Siksika Nation reserve in Alberta.
Awarded a 20-year contract by AESO for Whitla Wind project located in south-east Alberta in first round of competitive Renewable Electricity Program.
For updates on the direction of the company, see our news releases.