Where We Started 1891 – 1901
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 people with street and building lighting during the evening hours.
The Next Century 1902-1995
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, Alberta with a gross capacity of 820 MW. These two facilities are still in operation today.
Edmonton Power Corporation (EPCOR) 1995-2009
In the summer of 1995, 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 Alberta, and began to invest in power generation facilities in B.C., Ontario and in the United States. In its first 10 years, EPCOR tripled its consolidated assets and revenues while delivering superior returns for its shareholder.
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.
Capital Power 2009 – Present Day
Capital Power became a company through an Initial Public Offering (IPO), and the power generating assets and business of EPCOR were moved to Capital Power as a new, separate, independent, and publicly traded company. Capital Power commenced trading on the TSX, and its new era as a North American wholesale power generator, on July 9, 2009.
In our first five years, 2009-2013, our focus was establishing our footing and repositioning our power-generating portfolio. As a new company with a fleet of inherited assets, we worked hard to produce growing and stable investment returns through our innovative expertise and committed leadership. During this period, we added new generating facilities in B.C. and Alberta, and set the stage for our growth and expansion into the U.S.
The next five years, 2014-2018, were about reducing risk through operational excellence, growth and diversification. While our Alberta-based facilities and portfolio were, and remain, central to our strategy and success, we pursued and executed on opportunities for contracted renewable and natural gas generation assets in Ontario, British Columbia and across the U.S. to achieve our growth targets and minimize risk associated with low Alberta power prices. As a result, we doubled our investment in renewable energy sources and quadrupled the natural gas assets in our portfolio delivering on both our sustainability and value promise to our shareholders.
In 2019, we continue our growth and acquired Goreway Power Station, an 875 MW natural gas facility in Ontario, and are constructing Whitla Wind in Alberta and Cardinal Point Wind in Illinois. We continue our focus on operational excellence, growing our renewable and natural gas assets through construction and acquisitions in North America, and investing in technology to reduce emissions and improve efficiency to power a sustainable future.
We’re taking a leadership role in the research, development and implementation of innovative solutions for the future of power and the environment. We recognize that three key long-term trends will define the future of electricity markets and the transition to a low carbon future. These include (i) the continued electrification of the economy, (ii) increased generation of power from renewable sources and (iii) a continuing requirement for natural gas generation.
At Capital Power, we’re investing in climate change solutions that go beyond us and our industry to deliver a sustainable future. We’re developing renewables, investing in the advancement and deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage and innovating on new and different ways to operate our facilities that reduces emissions and generates reliable, cost-effective electricity. After all, it’s our responsibility to produce the power we need today without damaging the ability of future generations to do the same.
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