NRG awaits final DOE decision on Parish CO2 project funding

A 75-MW, gas-fired peaking unit at NRG Energy’s (NYSE: NRG) W.A. Parish coal plant in Texas achieved commercial operations on June 26.

The unit is expected to be retrofitted for use as a cogeneration facility to provide steam and power to operate the proposed Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage System (CCUS) project, which is being partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The CCUS will be a commercial-scale facility that will capture CO2 from the Parish coal plant for use in enhanced oild recovery.

“Construction of the CCUS is intended to allow NRG, through its wholly owned subsidiary Petra Nova LLC, to utilize the captured CO2 in enhanced oil recovery operations in oil fields on the Texas Gulf Coast,” NRG said in its Nov. 12 Form 10-Q report. “On May 23, 2013, the U.S. DOE published the Record of Decision to the Federal Register, announcing its decision to provide cost-shared funding for the project in the amount of $167 million, $7 million of which has already been provided to NRG, as of September 30, 2013. Construction of the CCUS is subject to receipt of appropriate financing and negotiation of material contracts.”

DOE would provide $167m in cost-shared financial assistance to NRG. The funding would be used for project design and development, procurement of capital equipment, construction and CO2 monitoring during the 35-month demonstration period of the integrated CO2 capture and compression system.

The capture facility would use an advanced amine-based CO2 absorption technology to capture at least 90% of the CO2 from a 250-MW equivalent portion of the flue gas exhaust from Unit 8 at W.A. Parish. The project would capture about 1.6 million tons of CO2 per year from the plant exhaust. The captured CO2 would be compressed and transported via an approximately 81-mile-long, 12-inch-diameter underground pipeline to the existing West Ranch oil field in Jackson County, Texas.

Also related to coal-fired power, NRG has announced its intention to continue operations at the Avon Lake (Ohio) and New Castle (Pennsylvania) facilities, which are currently in operation and had been scheduled for deactivation in April 2015. NRG said in the Form 10-Q that it intends to add natural gas capabilities at both o these facilities, which is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016.

Additionally, the company deactivated its oil-fired Norwalk Harbor (Connecticut) facility and has accelerated the deactivation of the coal-fired Portland and Titus facilities in Pennsylvania to 2014 and 2013, respectively.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.