The first of six coal-fired generating units at Sundance was commissioned in 1970, and the sixth and final generating unit was commissioned in 1980. The plant is located 70 kilometres west of Edmonton, Alberta, on the south shore of Wabamun Lake.

As a leader in clean electricity, TransAlta is actively working to convert the fuel source for three of the six Sundance units from coal to natural gas, allowing the plant to provide Albertans with clean, reliable and affordable electricity. Sundance Units 1, 2 and 3 have been retired permanently. 

The conversions and retirements of Sundance’s units will enable Canada and Alberta to meet its emissions reduction targets. The gas conversions are designed to meet federal Clean Air Strategic Alliance (“CASA”) guidelines for emissions of nitrogen oxides for converted coal-to-gas units, which is equal to a 50 per cent reduction from the baseline for the remaining Sundance units in operation.

Once converted, Sundance Units 4, 5 and 6 are anticipated to run through to 2031-2039, a significant lengthening of both their asset lives and their ability to provide employment in the region.

Unit # Maximum Output (MW) Status & Details
Coal Natural Gas
1 280 Unit Retired
2 280 Unit Retired
3 368 Unit Retired
4 406 113
  • First commissioned – 1977
  • Currently in operation as a co-fired unit fueled by both coal and natural gas. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, Unit 4 will discontinue firing with coal and operate only using natural gas. It will also reduce its maximum output to 113 MW from 406 MW. (Source. 2020 Annual Report: M6)
5 406 730
  • First commissioned – 1978
  • This unit has been temporarily mothballed since April 1, 2018. In spring 2020, the Alberta Utilities Commission granted regulatory approval for the repowering of Sundance Unit 5 into a highly efficient combined-cycle unit. Its commercial operation date anticipated in the by the close of 2023. (Source. AIP, page 8)
6 401 401
Max. nameplate capacity 2,141 1,201


Facts & Figures 

Location: Wabamun, AB
Fuel: Coal and Natural Gas
Capacity (MW): 807
Ownership: 100%
Operator: Yes
First on-stream: 1970-1980
Revenue Source: Merchant
Builder: Yes

Related Pages

Awards & Recognition

  • Meets ISO 14001 standards – (ISO 14001 is an international standard setting the framework for a holistic and strategic approach to environmental policy, plans and actions)
  • Meets OHSAS 18001 standards – (OHSAS 18001 standards have been set to help companies eliminate or minimize risk to employees and others)