The Intermountain Power Project has been selected as one of five electric utilities in the United States and Canada to participate in a study of technology for capturing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fueled electrcity generation facilities.
Conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the study will examine the impacts of retrofitting advanced amine-based post-combustion carbon dioxide capture technology to existing coal-fired power plants, indicated EPRI representatives.
As global demand for electricity increases and regulators worldwide look at ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, post-combustion capture for new and existing power plants could be an important option.
However, retrofit of systems to an existing plant presents significant challenges, including limited space for new plant equipment, limited heat available for process integration, additional cooling water requirements and potential steam turbine modifications.
"EPRI's analyses have shown carbon capture and storage will be an essential part of the solution if we are to achieve meaningful carbon dioxide emissions reductions at a cost that can be accommodated by our economy," pointed out Bryan Hannegan, vice president of generation and environment at the research institute.
"Projects such as this, in which a number of utility companies come forward to offer their facilities and form a collaborative to share the costs of research, are critical to establishing real momentum for the technologies that we will need."
In addition to IPP, power plants in Ohio, Illinois, North Dakota, and Nova Scotia will participate in the project.
Individual sites offers a unique combination of unit sizes and ages, existing and planned emissions controls, fuel types, steam conditions, boilers, turbines, cooling systems and options for carbon dioxide storage, pointed out EPRI representatives.
The study - to be completed during 2009 - will provide the participants with valuable information applicable to their own individual power plants.
A report for an individual operation will:
â¢Assess the most practical carbon dioxide capture efficiency configuration based on site constraints.
â¢Determine the space required for the carbon dioxide capture technology and the interfaces with existing systems.
â¢Estimate performance and costs for the post-combustion capture plant.
â¢Assess the features of the facility that materially affect the cost and feasibility of the retrofit.
"The participants in the Intermountain Power Project are committed to maintaining high environmental standards," said general manager James Hewlet. "This study will help us evaluate options for managing the emissions of greenhouse gases in the future. It is a meaningful step in our three-decade track record of continually improving the power plant's environmental performance."