Emerging carbon capture projects at U.S. power plants

The Biden administration’s plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity business could force some coal and natural gas power plants to install carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that has had a rocky past.

Petra Nova, the only U.S. CCS plant on a power station that captured carbon at scale, closed in 2020. It pumped the captured CO2 into an oilfield to push out crude but closed due to a crash in petroleum prices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before shutting, the plant suffered chronic mechanical problems.

Another major CCS project partially funded by the government, the Mountaineer plant in West Virginia, shut in 2011 after an economic downturn. Even so, new plans are forming, buoyed by incentives and looming regulations as governments look to curb climate change.

Here are the main CCS projects at power plants in the works:

PETRA NOVA, Richmond, Texas
JX Nippon, a Japanese energy company, plans to re-open Petra Nova in June after the utility NRG (NRG.N) completes work on a unit at the W.A. Parish coal plant where it’s based. NRG recently sold its share of the CCS plant to Nippon. The $1 billion CCS plant had received a $190 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. It captured 3.8 million short tons of CO2 during its first three years, shy of the 4.6 million tons developers had expected.

NET POWER, Odessa, Texas
This plant, announced in November, and expected to be online in 2026, plans to burn natural gas with oxygen. The company claims it will inherently capture nearly all of the plant’s emissions. Its investors include oil company Occidental (OXY.N) oilfield services company Baker Hughes (BKR.O) and the utility Constellation (CEG.O).

The following projects, startup dates for which are not certain, could soon receive money from a Department of Energy fund of nearly $190 million for studies to support integrated carbon capture, transport and storage:

EFFICIENT, Edwardsport, Indiana
Duke Energy Indiana, LLC’s (DUKIN.UL) EFFICIENT project, proposes adding CCS to a combined cycle power plant that enables flexibility of fuels including syngas gasified from coal, natural gas, or blends of the two. The project expects to use Honeywell UOP’s technology to capture about 3.6 million tonnes per year.

The proposed project at Entergy Services, LLC’s Lake Charles combined cycle natural gas plant would use Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd technology. The project claims it will capture a minimum of 95% of CO2 emissions of about 2.4 million tonnes per year.

The proposed project at the coal-fired plant expects to capture a minimum of 95% of CO2 emissions representing more than 10 million tonnes per year. The project would use Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Americas technology and has partnered with Enchant Energy, LLC as the carbon capture project developer.

CYPRESS CARBON CAPTURE, Hahnville, Louisiana
The project would add CCS to the Taft natural gas plant. It would separate and prepare to store up to 3 million tonnes of CO2 per year, or at least 90% of the emissions.

POLK POWER STATION, Mulberry, Florida
The project would add ION Clean Energy, Inc’s CCS technology at the natural gas plant. It plans to capture at least 95% of CO2 emissions equating to nearly 3.7 tonnes per year to be stored in geological deposits.

This CCS project would be added to the pulverized coal plant at City Water, Light and Power in Springfield. It would capture 2 million tonnes of CO2 per year and transport it to a geologic storage site.