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Texas Clean Energy Project

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

The Summit Power Group is currently developing a carbon capture and storage (CCS) facility in Texas called the Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP). TCEP is called a “NowGen” carbon capture facility that will incorporate CCS technology in what the company calls a "first-of-its kind commercial power plant." TCEP hopes to capture ninety percent of its carbon dioxide emissions. If accomplished, this would be more than any other power plant of commercial scale operating anywhere in the world. As a result, the company contends that TCEP’s carbon emissions will be far lower than those of any existing fossil-fueled power plant.[1]

Summit Power Group, a Colorado-based company, announced plans in April 2008 to construct TCEP, a 600 megawatt Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle coal-fired power plant in West Texas. TCEP intends to use the same carbon capture and sequestration technology as the cancelled FutureGen coal plant in Mattoon, Illinois. A site for the plant has not been determined, but officials say the Permian Basin is a contender because captured carbon dioxide could be sold to local oil and gas companies for oil field injection.[2] Coal would likely come from the Powder River Basin.

TCEP is scheduled to achieve financial closing and commence construction in December 2010. Commercial operation is scheduled for mid-2014. The project will begin sequestering carbon during startup and testing in the year 2013,[1] and is expected to be operational in 2015.[3]

In September 2011 it was announced that the United States Department of Energy boosted its funding from $350 to $450 million.[4] However, the funds given by the DOE will not meet the costs of the plant, which are to be around $2.2 billion.[5] In May 2014 it was reported that Summit Power requested an additional year to "to realign the project and reevaluate costs," but noted the project was "still a go".[6]

Powder River Basin coal deal for Texas Clean Energy Project

In August 2011 it was reported that Summit Power Group is "within a month" of closing on Powder River Basin coal supplies for its $2.7 billion Texas Clean Energy Project. The plant is to be a 400-MW integrated gasification combined cycle power plant. The company contends that it is set to become operational in the fourth quarter. The plant will require 2 million st/year of Powder River Basin output.[7]

Federal funding

On December 4, 2009, Secretary Stephen Chu of the United States Department of Energy announced that TCEP will receive $350 million to help develop the facility. The company notes that the government's investment will help reduce TCEP’s costs. It was the largest award given up to that date by the Department of Energy's Clean Coal Power Initiative, which was enacted and funded by Congress.[8]

TCEP also received an additional $100 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in August 2010.[3]

In September 2011 the U.S. Department of Energy issued a Record of Decision approving $450 million from DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) for the project. Of this, $211 million will come from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for CCPI.[9]

Project Details

Sponsor: Summit Power Group
Location: 20 miles west of Odessa, TX
Capacity: 400 MW
Type: IGCC
Projected in service: 2015
Status: Permitted

Plant Opposition

Texas Public Citizen opposes the plant and argues that coal cannot be clean, no matter what technology is used. "We don’t support the use of coal for electrical generation, period," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, Executive Director of Public Citizen in Texas. "There are significant problems with the mining of coal ... then you have significant problems with coal waste disposal, like coal ash in Tennessee or contamination of watersheds."[10]

Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Texas Clean Energy Project Texas Clean Energy Project Homepage, accessed April 5, 2010.
  2. "Officials say they hope FutureGen efforts not wasted, Working for bid from energy company for similar plant", Kathleen Thurber, MyWestTexas.com, April 16, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Texas Clean Energy Project (TCEP) Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project," MIT CCS tech, accessed Sep. 2013.
  4. "US DOE to fund Summit with $450 mln for clean coal" Reuters, September 28, 2011.
  5. "All Eyes on Odessa's Clean Coal Future" Jen Kaster, NewsWest9.com, September 30, 2011.
  6. "Summit requests year extension" Texas Clean Energy Project, May 31, 2014.
  7. "Summit closes in on deal for PRB coal for new Texas plant" Steve Hooks, Platts.com, August 23, 2011.
  8. "Summit Power Group" Summit Power Project List, accessed April 5, 2010.
  9. "Innovative Texas Clean Coal Project Takes Major Step Forward as DOE Issues Record of Decision," U.S. Department of Energy press release, September 27, 2011
  10. "West Texas power projects could hold the key to carbon emissions" Jack Z. Smith, Fort Worth Telegram, June 6, 2009.

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