The Biden administration has set its sights on significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the electricity industry. However, this could require some coal and natural gas power plants to adopt carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which has previously faced challenges.
One of the only CCS plants in the United States, Petra Nova, closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and mechanical issues. Another major CCS project, Mountaineer, shut down in 2011 following an economic downturn. Despite these challenges, new CCS projects are emerging as governments worldwide aim to combat climate change.
Here are some of the main CCS projects at power plants currently in development:
- Petra Nova, Richmond, Texas Petra Nova is set to reopen in June 2023 after JX Nippon, a Japanese energy company, purchased the utility NRG’s share of the plant. The CCS plant, located at the W.A. Parish coal plant, had previously received a $190 million grant from the US Department of Energy and captured 3.8 million short tons of CO2 during its first three years of operation.
- Net Power, Odessa, Texas Expected to be operational in 2026, Net Power plans to use natural gas and oxygen to generate power while capturing nearly all of the plant’s emissions. The plant’s investors include Occidental, Baker Hughes, and Constellation.
- Efficient, Edwardsport, Indiana Duke Energy Indiana’s EFFICIENT project aims to add CCS to a combined cycle power plant that can utilize a range of fuels, including syngas gasified from coal, natural gas, or a blend of both. The project plans to capture about 3.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year using Honeywell UOP’s technology.
- Lake Charles Power Station, Westlake, Louisiana Entergy Services’ proposed CCS project at the Lake Charles natural gas plant aims to capture at least 95% of CO2 emissions of about 2.4 million tonnes per year using technology from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
- Four Corners Plant, Navajo Nation The proposed CCS project at the coal-fired Four Corners Plant aims to capture a minimum of 95% of CO2 emissions, which represents more than 10 million tonnes per year. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Americas technology will be used, and the project has partnered with Enchant Energy, LLC as the carbon capture project developer.
- Cypress Carbon Capture, Hahnville, Louisiana The project plans to add CCS to the Taft natural gas plant, separating and storing up to 3 million tonnes of CO2 per year, or at least 90% of the emissions.
- Polk Power Station, Mulberry, Florida The Polk Power Station plans to use ION Clean Energy, Inc.’s CCS technology to capture at least 95% of CO2 emissions equating to nearly 3.7 tonnes per year, which will then be stored in geological deposits.
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Springfield, Illinois This CCS project will be added to the pulverized coal plant at City Water, Light, and Power in Springfield. It plans to capture 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year and transport it to a geologic storage site.
In conclusion, with governments worldwide aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, CCS technology is emerging as a vital component in achieving this goal. Despite past challenges, several new CCS projects are underway at power plants across the US, which could help curb the electricity industry’s carbon footprint.