Plant Barry CCS Demo
Southern Company was awarded funds by the US Department of Energy (DoE) in December 2009 towards retrofitting a carbon capture facility at Alabama Power’s Plant Barry, a pulverized coal-fired power plant near Mobile, Alabama. The demonstration project has been operating since June 2011, and the DoE announced in August 2012 that injection had begun at the Citronelle oilfield 12 miles to the west of the plant.
The demo plant is capturing at a rate of 500 tonnes a day, or the equivalent of emissions from 25MW of energy production, with CO2 recovery efficiency said to be above 90%. The captured CO2 is transported by pipeline to the oilfield, where it will be stored permanently in deep saline formations. The CO2 storage plan is part of DoE’s Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB), led by the Southern States Energy Board. More details at SECARB - Cranfield and Citronelle.
In September 2012, Southern Company won an Industry Excellence Award, recognising the value of the project in demonstrating innovative technology to reduce GHG emissions from power plants.
The CO2 capture technology used in this project, called KM-CDRTM, was jointly developed by MHI and the Kansai Electric Power Company Inc. It deploys an advance amine-based solvent that reacts readily with CO2 in flue gas before being separated and compressed so it is ready for pipeline transport.
Southern Company claims that the MHI process offers improved performance and lower cost than existing capture technologies. The process has been demonstrated on smaller scale at a coal-fired generating station in Japan, and is being deployed commercially on natural gas-fired systems around the world. The Barry project is said to represents the largest coal-fired demonstration of this technology
The company is joined by Alabama Power, the DoE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), the Electric Power Research Institute and several other partners on the demonstration project. The Geological Survey of Alabama, Stanford University, the University of Alabama and AJW Group are also involved.
In August 2011, Southern secured funding of $15m to further develop heat integration methods for the capture of CO2 from pulverized coal combustion - using a waste heat recovery process. The technology will be integrated into the existing capture pilot at Plant Barry. The pilot was one of four projects aimed at reducing energy and cost penalties associated with carbon capture at coal-fired power plants.
In December 2009, the US Department of Energy awarded the project $295 million – for an 11-year CCS contract – from the third round of its Clean Coal Power Initiative as part of its drive to fast-track the development of clean coal technologies and CCS at commercial scale. Southern has not provided an estimate of the overall project cost. However, early estimates suggest a further $350 million in addition to the CCPI award (source: MIT).
Southern held a groundbreaking ceremony in April 2010, moving the project into the execution stage. In June 2011, Southern Company announced that the carbon capture and storage facility was operating and capturing CO2. It reached full-scale capture of 500 tonnes a day in September 2012.
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