A $19.5 million carbon capture pilot unit will soon be located at Kentucky Utilities Company’s E.W. Brown Generating Station, near Harrodsburg.
The project, which will be Kentucky’s first megawatt-scale carbon capture pilot unit at an operating power plant, is a partnership between LG&E, KU Energy and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research.
It’s made possible through a $14.5 million competitive financial assistance award from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology and cost-share funding from UK, the Kentucky Department of Energy Development and Independence, the Carbon Management Research Group (CMRG) utility members, and project team members including the Electric Power Research Institute and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems America.
The CMRG, comprised of government agencies, electric utilities and research organizations, seeks cost-effective technologies to reduce and manage carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants. Current utility members include LG&E and KU Energy, Duke Energy and Kentucky Power.
The focus of this “catch and release” style pilot system will serve to demonstrate improvements in the integration of carbon capture technology at an existing power plant, produce key discoveries with the goal of developing a safer, more efficient process, and test the feasibility of ideas and technologies for the integration of commercial-scale carbon capture systems.
Construction of the 2 MW thermal post-combustion carbon dioxide capture pilot system is expected to be complete this fall, shortly followed by the testing period. Key discoveries will be determined after testing is finished in mid-2016.
The DOE, in partnership with NRG Energy and JX Nippon, last week begun construction on the first commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture retrofit project in the US, the largest such project in the world. Once completed, the Petra Nova Project will capture about 1.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually from an existing coal-fired power plant in Texas. The captured CO2 will then be used to extract additional, hard-to-access oil from a previously depleted field 80 miles away, safely storing the carbon underground in the process.