Touted as an alternative to alternative energies, carbon capture and sequestration for coal-fired utilities is gaining steam, thanks in part to support from federal and state funding.
In California, a proposed $1 billion carbon capture project is being studied by the state’s energy commission. The plant, which would be built by Rio Tinto PLC and BP PLC, is starting a formal, year-long certification process, reports Bloomberg.
The 350-megawatt carbon capture plant would be installed near Bakersfield, Calif. The plant would convert blends of petroleum coke and coal into hydrogen, which would fuel the utility while capturing 90 percent of CO2 produced. The project, if approved by the state, has already been given the okay for $308 million in stimulus funds from the Department of Energy.
In Virginia, meanwhile, a coalition has applied for federal stimulus funding to cover half the $580 million needed to build a carbon-capture and storage demonstration project. Led by Virginia Tech, the coalition’s demonstration project would be built adjacent to a 585-megawatt Dominion power station under construction. The plant is being designed to burn coal, biomass and “gob,” a form of waste coal, reports FoxBusiness.
The federal funding for carbon capture may be putting the cart before the horse, however. The EPA announced on Aug. 26 it is taking public comments on geologic sequestration of CO2.