Leduc County's response to coal-fired electricity generation phase-out

Leduc County is working with the Government of Alberta to mitigate the impacts of the federal and provincial government’s transition from coal-fired electricity.

In 2015, the Government of Alberta introduced its Climate Leadership Plan, which calls for an acceleration of the phase out of coal-fired electricity generation in Alberta. In 2016, the Government of Canada imposed further regulatory requirements for coal plants to meet the performance standard or retire by 2029 or when they reach roughly 50 years of operation, whichever is earlier.

As the home of the Genesee Generating Station, Leduc County and its residents, businesses, neighbouring municipalities and community groups have benefited directly and indirectly from the coal-fired electricity industry through the creation of stable employment, local procurement and spending, tax revenue and community investment initiatives.

With a projected retirement date of 2030 for coal-fired electrical generation at the Genesee Generation Station, Leduc County and its residents will be impacted.

It is estimated that the station directly and indirectly employs 450 people and the phase-out could impact roughly 75 households in Leduc County through loss of employment. In addition, Leduc County received more than $6 million in municipal taxes from Capital Power and Altalink in 2016, representing roughly 13 per cent of the county's municipal tax revenue.

Leduc County has been working with the Government of Alberta to mitigate the impacts of the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation on the county and its residents.

Next steps

The Government of Alberta appointed an Advisory Panel on Coal Communities to consult with workers and community members and understand their challenges and ideas for the long-term economic sustainability of impacted communities. The panel is expected to deliver its report, with advice and options on how to support affected workers and communities, later this fall.

In addition, on Sept. 11, 2017, the Government of Alberta announced the Coal Community Transition Fund which is aimed at assisting affected municipalities, including Leduc County, to undertake initiatives to support the transition from coal-fired electricity generation. Leduc County is currently compiling its application.

Leduc County commends the Government of Alberta on its commitment to assisting affected community members and municipalities, and believes the funding announcement is a good first step; however, looks forward to continuing discussions to ensure the future of Leduc County and the families who call it home is better defined.