US Dept of Energy invests $979m in carbon capture projects

The US Department of Energy will be providing almost $1B ($979m) towards three large scale carbon sequestration projects.  The total cost of the projects is expected to be $3B – the remainder of the money will come from industry.     Currently, there aren’t any large scale projects in the works, only a small number of experimental sites (see this Greentech Media article from June if you’re interested).  The DoE hopes to increase the rate of development of advanced coal technologies with these projects.

The three projects represent three different approaches  to the issue of carbon capture and sequestration.   In New Haven, West Virginia, American Electric Power (AEP) will build their carbon capture project right next to a 1.3 gigawatt power plant .  The AEP system will capture 90 percent of the emissions from a 235-megawatt flue gas stream and then chill and compress the emissions.   The carbon dioxide will then be entombed in two saline aquifiers 1.5 miles underground.     In the second project located in Alabama, Southern Company Services will capture carbon from an existing coal fired power plant (Alabama Power’s Plant Berry, near Mobile, AL), and store some of the CO2 underground and use some for enhanced oil recovery.    The third project is in Texas where Summit Texas Clean Energy, LLC will capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (2.7 million metric tons per year) at a 400 MW plant to be built near Midland, Odessa.  The captured carbon will then be treated, compressed and used in oil recovery operations.

None of these projects are short term – the current timeline for operation is from 8 to 11 years.

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