The U.S. Energy Department last week said it would fund three carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects with a value of $3.18 billion to accelerate their development: American Electric Power’s (AEP’s) proposed Mountaineer demonstration project; Southern Co.’s Plant Barry demonstration in Alabama; and Summit’s Texas Clean Energy Project in Midland-Odessa.
The investment of up to $979 million, including funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be leveraged by more than $2.2 billion in private capital cost share as part of the third round of the department’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI), the DOE said.
The projects were selected because they made progress toward a target CO2 capture efficiency rate of 90% as well as toward a goal to increase electricity costs less than 10% for gasification systems and less than 35% for combustion and oxycombustion systems. All the projects could potentially capture and sequester more than 300,000 metric tons of CO2—as required by the CCPI, the agency said.
The CCPI Round III was created in 2005 to reduce the time it would take would take for low-emission coal technologies to be ready for commercial use. The awards are the second installment of projects awarded under that round. Two projects were previously selected under CCPI Round III in July 2009 to receive $408 million in DOE funds: Basin Electric Power Cooperative North Dakota postcombustion CO2 capture project and Hydrogen Energy International’s California project for full capture using an “advanced” integrated gasification combined-cycle plant.
The Round III project selections announced last week included:
- AEP’s Mountaineer Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Demonstration:
AEP said in a statement that it would immediately begin negotiating terms with the DOE to receive $334 million to assist with the installation of the chilled ammonia. The funds requested by AEP were about half of the estimated cost of the system. The company disclosed that it was also in discussions with other potential international partners for the project.
AEP and Alstom began operating a smaller-scale validation of the technology in September at the Mountaineer plant. That system captures up to 90% of the carbon dioxide from a slipstream of flue gas equivalent to 20 MW of generating capacity. The captured carbon dioxide, more than 100,000 tons a year, is being compressed and injected into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage approximately 1.5 miles below the surface. No federal funds are being used for the validation project, AEP said.
- Southern Co.’s Carbon Capture and Sequestration Demonstration:
- Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP):
Sources: DOE, AEP