Issue Date: May 12, 2008
'Clean Coal' Program Unveiled
A restructured program to provide federal support for demonstration projects that capture and sequester carbon dioxide emitted by coal-fired electric power plants was announced by the Department of Energy last week. The program replaces the department's FutureGen project, which was canceled in January because of potential cost overruns (C&EN, Feb. 4, page 20). The new program will fund multiple commercial-scale power plants that generate at least 300 MW of electricity, sequester at least 1 million metric tons of CO2 each year, and capture at least 81% of CO2 generated. The department awards are expected to be between $100 million and $600 million per project. However, DOE will provide only $290 million for 2009 and $1 billion in later years for the program. Like FutureGen, the program will fund gasification technologies used to generate electricity, but unlike FutureGen, it will also support other power plant technologies that capture and sequester CO2. The program is on a fast track; DOE will close the public comment period in two weeks, finalize the solicitation request by midsummer, and select projects by December. DOE expects the plants to be operating by 2015.
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