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Net Power

First Emissions-Free Fossil Fuel Power Plant Under Construction

Net PowerA power plant that will produce low-cost electricity with zero emissions is being built in La Porte, Texas.

Net Power, a collaboration between Exelon Generation, CB&I, and 8 Rivers Capital, today said it has broken ground on the 50-megawatt demonstration plant, which it says it a “first-of-a-kind” power plant.

The plant will demonstrate Net Power’s Allam Cycle technology, which the company says uses carbon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a combustion turbine, eliminates all atmospheric emissions without requiring expensive, efficiency-reducing carbon capture equipment, and produces pipeline-quality CO2 that can be sequestered or used in various industrial processes, including enhanced oil recovery.

The $140 million program — which not only includes demonstration plant design and construction, but also ongoing technology advancement, a full testing and operations program, and commercial product development — is funded by a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from Exelon and CB&I. Toshiba has developed and is now manufacturing a new supercritical CO2 turbine and combustor for the project. CB&I is performing the engineering, procurement, and construction of the plant. Exelon is providing operations, maintenance, and development services. 8 Rivers invented and continues to advance the technology behind the project.

Net Power uses an oxy-fuel, supercritical CO2 power cycle to produce electricity efficiently while inherently eliminating all air emissions. The system burns natural gas with oxygen, as opposed to air, and uses high-pressure carbon dioxide, as opposed to inefficient steam like most power plants, to drive a turbine.

Net Power produces only electricity, liquid water and pipeline-ready CO2, while operating as efficiently as the best natural gas power plants available today, the company says. Additionally, for a small reduction in efficiency, the technology can operate without water, actually becoming a net water producer.

The company says this clean energy producer does not mean more expensive energy, “and, as a result, our global climate goals are within reach.”

The plant will be a fully operational unit that will generate power to the grid while demonstrating all key aspects of the Allam Cycle. Net Power expects commissioning to begin in late 2016 and be completed in 2017.

The company says the 50MW plant will also provide the validation to begin constructing the first 295MWe, commercial-scale Net Power plants. NET Power is already engaged with customers across several industries on the design and development of these projects, the company says.

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2 thoughts on “First Emissions-Free Fossil Fuel Power Plant Under Construction

  1. so this is only emissions free if there is a market for the CO2? presumably the feedstock fuel must be pure CH4 to ensure that only CO2 and water are the only combustion products? if the latter is the case, how does the technology differ from an ideal CCGT generator?

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