Friday, October 09, 2015

World's first-ever carbon capture project on a large coal plant nearing full capture operating capacity

Mike Marsh, president and CEO of SaskPower's Boundary Dam—the world's first-ever carbon capture project on a large coal plant—said on Thursday "that the initiative is on track to reach full operating capacity this year," Christa Marshall reports for ClimateWire. The facility—which began capturing carbon dioxide last October at a coal plant in Saskatchewan, Canada—has captured more than 400,000 metric tons of CO2 since then.

Marsh told Marshall, "We're very happy that we've been able to not only demonstrate various capture rates over the past year. As we approach full capture, we can achieve 90 percent capture at that plant, which is about four times better than a comparable natural gas combined-cycle facility today."

He said SaskPower "has not decided whether to retrofit other coal units at Boundary Dam and won't until the end of next year," Marshall writes. "The next attempt to capture CO2 at another coal plant would be about 20 to 30 percent cheaper, he said, citing feedback from engineers. The capture rates and related data will be studied carefully because no other large coal-fired power plant globally ever has achieved such a high percentage of capture."

When the Environmental Protection Agency "unveiled its proposed carbon rule on new power plants in 2013, it cited Boundary Dam as an example of CCS technology," Marshall writes. "SaskPower moved forward in retrofitting part of its existing Boundary Dam Power Station because of a unique set of circumstances, including Canadian greenhouse gas regulations and $240 million from the Canadian government." (Read more)

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