New Haven, W.Va., USA, Oct. 30, 2009 – Federal and state government officials today joined executives from American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and Alstom at AEP’s Mountaineer Plant to formally commission the world’s first project to both capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2) from a coal-fired power plant. The officials hailed the project as a significant milestone in the effort to reduce CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels.
The Mountaineer CCS demonstration project, which began capturing CO2 Sept. 1 and storing it Oct. 2, is designed to capture at least 100,000 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.
“Commercialization of carbon capture and storage technology is an essential part of a successful strategy to address climate change, not only for the United States, which relies on coal-fired generation for about half of its electricity supply, but also for coal-dependent nations around the world,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Coal is a low-cost, abundant fuel source, but its use is a significant source of carbon dioxide emissions. We are pleased to be working with Alstom and our other partners on a project that plays a significant role in the advancement of a technology that will allow us to continue to depend on coal for electricity generation with reduced environmental impact.”
Alstom Power President Philippe Joubert said, “We are proud to partner with American Electric Power to demonstrate the technology of capturing CO2 for coal-fired power plants. Mountaineer, which is at the leading edge of all our demonstration projects worldwide, demonstrates the integration of all three stages of the process—capture, transport, and storage. We reaffirm our commitment to making commercial carbon capture offerings by 2015.”
Morris and Joubert were joined at the event by West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III and U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).
AEP’s Mountaineer Plant is a 1,300-megawatt electrical (MWe) coal-fired unit that was retrofitted earlier this year with Alstom’s patented chilled ammonia CO2 capture technology on a 20-MWe portion, or “slipstream,” of the plant’s exhaust “flue gas.” The slipstream of flue gas is chilled and combined with a solution of ammonium carbonate, which absorbs the CO2 to create ammonium bicarbonate. The ammonium bicarbonate solution is then pressurized and heated in a separate process to safely and efficiently produce a high-purity stream of CO2. The CO2 will be compressed and piped for storage into deep geologic formations, roughly 1.5 miles beneath the plant surface. Approximately 90 percent of the CO2 from the 20-MWe slipstream will be captured and permanently stored.
AEP has applied for federal stimulus funding to scale up the Alstom chilled ammonia technology to 235 MWe at Mountaineer Plant. The proposed commercial-scale demonstration will capture and geologically store approximately 1.5 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year.About AEP
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.About Alstom
) is a global leader in the world of power generation and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, and provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions, equipment and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind. The Group employs more than 81,000 people in 70 countries, and had orders of € 24.6 billion in 2008/09.
Alstom is at the forefront of carbon capture technology development. In the past few years, Alstom has announced plans to develop ten CO2 capture demonstration projects in six countries. All told, Alstom is mobilizing hundreds of employees and has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in support of its stated goal of making carbon capture technology commercially available within six years.