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News Release

Release Date: November 5, 2004

New Projects Selected to Meet President’s Commitment to Clean Coal, Address National Energy Priorities
Projects Aimed at New Technologies for Low-Cost Power Production and Emissions Control

WASHINGTON - Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham has announced the selection of four projects from the second round of competition under President Bush’s 10-year, $2 billion Clean Coal Power Initiative. The technologies will help maintain abundant coal resources as a cornerstone of the nation’s future domestic energy portfolio, particularly for power generation. The priorities for this round of competition were technology advancements for gasification-based electricity production, advanced mercury control, and sequestration and sequestration-readiness.

From proposals offering projects valued at nearly $6 billion, the selected projects, valued at close to $1.8 billion, will focus on pioneering a new generation of innovative power plants. The advanced technologies will help meet the nation’s growing demand for electricity, provide a secure and low-cost coal-based energy source, and protect the environment. The Energy Department will provide about $296 million in federal funds—about 16 percent of the total cost—for demonstrating the technologies. 

Advanced Technologies for Gasification-Based Electricity Production
Two projects were selected to demonstrate advanced power generation systems using integrated gasification-combined cycle (IGCC) technology. IGCC promises dramatically increased efficiency and reliability, improved environmental performance, reduced capital and operating costs, and flexibility to process both high- and low-rank coals. The projects support the President’s Climate Change initiative for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by enhancing the technical foundation for FutureGen, the world’s first zero-emissions, coal-based power and hydrogen production plant incorporating CO2 removal and sequestration.

  • Southern Company Services, in a team effort with Southern Power Company and Orlando Utilities Commission, will demonstrate an advanced IGCC power generation system at the Stanton Energy Complex in Orange County, Fla. The proposed 285‑megawatt IGCC plant will produce fuel gas for power generation from low-rank subbituminous coal, use advanced emission controls, and will be one of the cleanest, most efficient coal-fired power plants in the world. The project will use an air-blown transport gasifier—which employs catalytic cracking technology, and has been used successfully for more than 50 years in the petroleum refining industry—to achieve significant advances in efficiency and availability, and reductions in IGCC capital and operating costs. Emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and particulates will be controlled to levels substantially below those resulting from the best coal-fired power generating systems in use today. The Energy Department will provide $235 million as the federal share of the proposed $557 million project.
  • Excelsior Energy Inc. will join with ConocoPhillips to construct and operate the 531-megawatt Mesaba Energy Project in Hoyt Lakes, Minn. The project will incorporate results from technology optimization studies and lessons learned at the Wabash River IGCC power plant in Terre Haute, Ind., to reduce costs and improve efficiency and availability for a next generation, oxygen-blown gasification plant using bituminous coal. The proposed plant will use GE’s 7FB combustion turbine, if available, to demonstrate advancements in IGCC technology performance beyond the capabilities of today’s turbine systems. The Energy Department will contribute $36 million to support the proposed $1.2 billion project.

New Technologies for Clear Skies
Two projects were selected to demonstrate technology advancements supporting the President’s Clear Skies Initiative, which calls for dramatic reductions in power plant emissions, particularly mercury, by 2018.

  • Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, will demonstrate Airborne Process’s scrubber, regeneration system, and byproduct recovery systems at Mustang Energy Company LLC’s planned 300‑megawatt coal-fired Mustang Generating Station in Milan, N.M. This $79 million project, for which the Energy Department will provide $19.7 million, will target an innovative and cost-competitive multipollutant control process with the potential to achieve 90 percent mercury removal, 99.5 percent removal of sulfur dioxide, 98 percent removal of SO3 (a sulfuric acid mist precursor), and 98 percent removal of nitrogen oxides—all while turning the scrubber byproduct into a high quality, high value granular fertilizer. The project objectives include demonstrating an availability of at least 96 percent for the Airborne process.
  • Pegasus Technologies, Inc., in a joint effort with Texas Genco, will demonstrate the capability of sophisticated control processes and advanced sensor technologies to optimize mercury speciation and control from an existing 890‑megawatt utility boiler in Jewett, Texas, combusting a blend of Texas lignite and Powder River Basin subbituminous coal. This demonstration of plant-wide advanced control and optimization systems could also provide the capability to maximize plant efficiency for electricity production. The Energy Department will provide $6.1 million in federal funds to support the proposed $12.2 million project.

Contact: David Anna, DOE/NETL, 412-386-4646