COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb.16, 2011 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) will receive funding from the Global CCS Institute to support installation of the nation’s first commercial-scale carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) system on AEP’s Mountaineer coal-fueled power plant in New Haven, W.Va.
Global CCS Institute, based in Canberra, Australia, will provide AU$4 million (US$4.01 million) to support the initial engineering and characterization phase of AEP’s commercial-scale installation of a CCS system using Alstom’s chilled ammonia process to capture at least 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from 235 megawatts of Mountaineer’s 1,300 megawatts of capacity. The captured carbon dioxide, approximately 1.5 million metric tons per year, will be treated and compressed, then injected into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage approximately 1.5 miles below the surface. The system will begin commercial operation in 2015.
“We appreciate the support we are receiving from the Global CCS Institute. Having them involved clearly demonstrates that commercialization of carbon capture and storage technology is an essential component of a successful global climate strategy,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP chairman and chief executive officer. “If we are going to address climate change in any meaningful way, we have to develop technologies that can be deployed worldwide to cut emissions from coal-fueled electricity generation, which continues to supply a large part of our world’s energy needs.”
The U.S. Department of Energy is funding 50 percent of the commercial-scale project costs, up to $334 million. AEP is in discussions with other potential international partners for the project.
AEP and Alstom began operating a smaller-scale validation of the chilled-ammonia technology at Mountaineer in September 2009. That system captures up to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from a slipstream of flue gas equivalent to 20 megawatts of generating capacity. The captured carbon dioxide, up to 100,000 tons a year, is being compressed and injected into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage approximately 1.5 miles below the surface.
The Global CCS Institute works with organizations and governments to accelerate the broad deployment of commercial CCS and ensure that the technology plays a role in responding to the world’s need for a low carbon energy future. The interim goal of the Institute is to accelerate the development of 20 commercial-scale integration demonstrations. The Institute plays a key role in knowledge sharing across demonstration projects and is working on enabling the regulatory and policy, as well as commercial and financial conditions for CCS to be deployed commercially around the world. It has more than 270 members, including governments such as the United States. For more information, visit www.globalccsinstitute.com.
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.