Suncor Energy says it has started the regulatory process on replacing aging boilers at its oilsands Base Plant with two cogeneration units to lower costs and carbon output.
The company says the cogeneration units, which allow industries to use both the electricity and heat created in power generation, will replace boilers that currently use petroleum coke as fuel.
Suncor says that along with providing the needed steam for its oilsands operations, the units would export about 700 megawatts, or roughly seven per cent of Alberta's power needs, to the provincial grid.
The company says the units could come online by 2022 and provide reliable baseload power as the province shifts to more intermittent renewable energy sources.
It says it continues to evaluate the project, with the proposal submitted for review to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and a final sanction decision expected by the end of 2018.
Suncor already has some cogeneration units installed at its Base Plant, as well as at its Firebag, MacKay River and Fort Hills facilities.