WA Parish Carbon Capture
NRG Energy has been selected by the Department of Energy to receive up to $167 million to develop a commercial-scale post-combustion carbon capture project at the Company's WA Parish generating station southwest of Houston, Texas.
This demonstration is designed to capture approximately 90 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) in a 250 megawatt (MW) flue gas slipstream and use or sequester 1.5 million tonnes (1.65 million U.S. short tons) of this greenhouse gas annually. The demonstration facility is expected to be operational in 2016.
At 250 MW, this project can prove the ability to take coal-based carbon capture technology from a pilot program to a real-world, commercial-scale that can be applied to any existing coal-fired power plant in the U.S. and the world.
Captured CO2 will be used to enhance production at mature oil fields in the Texas Gulf Coast region. The first site to use CO2 from the WA Parish carbon capture system is Hilcorp's West Ranch Oil Field. Other sites have been identified and reservoir analysis is underway.
Coal is America's most abundant fuel resource, providing half of U.S. electricity generated, but it is also the most carbon intensive fuel. Approximately 85 percent of U.S. electric sector emissions and 40 percent of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions come from coal plants.
Post-combustion carbon capture is essential in order for the U.S. to continue to use coal while reducing our carbon footprint. However, no CO2 capture technologies have been demonstrated at commercial scale or are currently available for use on coal-fired power plants at the scale of the typical baseload plant. Additionally, existing CO2 capture solutions have capital and operating costs that cannot compete with conventional power generation technologies without government assistance.
The two main goals of this demonstration are:
- To show that carbon capture will work at commercial scale when retrofitted on an existing coal plant
- To demonstrate other emerging technology advancements that will make post-combustion carbon capture more economically viable
For more information, view the project fact sheet.
Read the press release about construction beginning on the generation unit that will ultimately provide electrical and thermal power for the Carbon Capture unit at WA Parish.