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Innovative Texas Clean Coal Project Takes Major Step Forward as DOE Issues Record of Decision

September 27, 2011 - 1:00pm

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Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) that - along with a signed cooperative agreement - will allow federal funding to be used to help build one of the world’s most advanced and environmentally clean coal-based power plants.

The ROD and cooperative agreement between DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and Summit Texas Clean Energy, LLC (STCE) sets in motion continued federal cost-shared funding for the Summit Texas Clean Energy Project, to be built just west of Midland-Odessa, Texas. This 400-megawatt, first-of-a-kind facility combines integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power generation, urea production, and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology.

The project, managed by FE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), will be partially funded with $450 million from DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI). Of this, $211 million will come from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for CCPI. FE and NETL will administer the federal co-funding to the project as well as ensure adherence to programmatic goals and objectives embodied in the CCPI.

DOE’s action to issue the ROD complies with the National Environmental Policy Act, and was reached after considering the project’s potential environmental impacts (presented in the Environmental Impact Statement), the practicable options for mitigation of the impacts, and the importance of achieving the objectives of programmatic and legislative mandates.

"The integration of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies planned for this flagship project are vitally important to America and the world," said Chuck McConnell, FE’s Chief Operating Officer. "The Texas Clean Energy Project is a significant step forward that demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to developing clean energy technologies, creating jobs, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases."

The plant will produce power by converting subbituminous coal into hydrogen-rich synthesis gas (syngas) and CO2. The syngas and high-quality steam will be fed to the combined-cycle combustion and steam turbine generator to produce electricity. The facility will integrate Siemens IGCC technology and Linde Rectisol® acid-gas capture technology to capture 90 percent of the CO2 from the plant’s syngas--about 3 million tons per year. A portion of the captured CO2 will be used to produce urea for fertilizer while most of it will be used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) with monitoring, verification, and accounting to demonstrate the permanence of geologic storage. The CO2 will be transported through existing regional pipelines to the oilfields of the west Texas Permian Basin, the largest CO2-EOR region in the world. About 200 megawatts of electricity will be put on the power grid. The plant will also produce sulfuric acid, argon, and inert slag as minor products for sale in commercial markets.

In addition to its power generation and CO2 for EOR, which will boost U.S. energy security, the new plant will provide other significant benefits. A combination of recycling, deep-well injection, and evaporation ponds will eliminate the release of process and brine water to surface waters. The plant is expected to provide the local economy with an average of 650 construction jobs during construction, with a peak of 1,500 workers. The project’s operational workforce is expected to be approximately 150 workers. Accounting for indirect and induced jobs, the total number of jobs resulting from the project would average about 1,000 during construction and 300 during operations.

The Department’s CCPI is a cost-shared partnership between the Federal government and private industry to stimulate investment in low-emission, coal-based power generation technology through successful commercial demonstrations.

Read the Record of Decision

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