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CCS Technologies to Capture 65% and 90% of CO2 Emissions at Coal Power Plants

A proposed clean coal power plant in Illinois is expected to capture at least 65 percent of its carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions with carbon capture and storage (CCS), while a pilot CCS project at a conventional coal power plant will capture about 90 percent of CO2 emissions.

In Illinois, Tenaska has received a record federal tax credit of $417 million to build a new $3.5-billion clean coal power plant in Taylorville. The proposed 716-megawatt (gross) Taylorville Energy Center (TEC) power plant will incorporate an integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) system with CCS that is expected to capture at least 65 percent of its CO2 emissions.

The cost savings from the tax credit will be passed through to Illinois electric utility customers under the Illinois Clean Coal Portfolio Standard Law (Clean Coal Law).

The TEC coal-fed commercial scale power plant will convert Illinois coal into substitute natural gas, and then burn the gas to produce electricity. The plant is expected to reduce the state’s CO2 emissions by nearly 2 million tons per year, and add about 6 cents per day to a typical customer’s bill.

Electricity customers would see no impact on their bills until mid-2015, when the project is slated for completion.

The Taylorville project will help meet President Obama’s February 2010 mandate to develop deployable CCS technologies with the goal of putting five to 10 commercial sized clean coal projects in operation by 2016, according to the company.

Similarly, two demonstration projects at Tampa Electric could lead to the development of large-scale CCS for coal-fired power plants. Tampa Electric is partnering with Siemens to pilot one project at the utility’s Big Bend Power Station to capture CO2 emissions from conventional coal-fired power plants using an environmentally friendly process developed by Siemens.

The pilot plant, which is designed to capture approximately 90 percent of the CO2 from a slip stream of the coal-fired plant’s flue gas stream, is scheduled to be operational in 2013. The goal of the project is to reduce the energy it takes to run carbon capture equipment and ultimately reduce costs to customers and move the technology closer to widespread use.

Tampa Electric also is partnering with RTI International and the Shaw Group to conduct a study on a new technology to clean synthetic gas (syngas) at elevated temperatures. The study will evaluate the construction of a pilot project to demonstrate the technology at Tampa Electric’s Polk Power Station’s 250-megawatt IGCC plant.

The technology is expected to significantly reduce the capital and operating costs of an ICGG plant that is equipped with carbon capture technology.

Both demonstration projects are funded by the DOE.

As of March, the DOE is funding 12 CCS systems in industrial plants that include paper mills, chemical plants, manufacturing plants, refineries and cement plants, aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gases at these types of industrial plants.

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