ARTICLE In CARBON PULSE - Carbon capture and storage (CCS) can soon yield a superior emissions performance compared to wind power or natural gas plants, a not-for-profit group set up by Canadian utility Sask Power and coal miner BHP Billion said on Wednesday.

 

By Matt Lithgow – [email protected]

Representatives from the International CCS Knowledge Centre (ICKC) said CCS installed at Sask Power’s Boundary Dam coal-fired plant in Saskatchewan can achieve a maximum performance standard of 120-140 tCO2/GWh, compared to 300-325 tCO2/GWh for wind power coupled with ‘peakers’ – thermal power plans running at times of peak demand.

But they admitted that the Boundary Dam facility is presently only running at an efficiency of 400 tCO2/GWh.

ICKC is aiming to defend the reputation of the technology, which has divided industry and environmentalists worldwide over whether it is a viable solution to tackling climate change but which last week got a boost from a tax break in the US budget.

ICKC vice president C. Beth Hardy told a webinar hosted by the UN Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) that “wind is intermittent and needs those peakers to ramp up and ramp down.”

ICKC president and CEO Michael Monea added that while CCS is designed to complement the deployment of renewable energy, some scientists are now saying that there is “no way we can meet our greenhouse gas reductions without CCS.”

The organisation pegged the emissions performance standards of new natural gas plants at 375-400 tCO2/GWh and the existing fleet of natural gas plants at 500-550 tCO2/GWh.

EARLY STAGES

Sask Power’s Boundary Dam uses 800,000 tonnes of coal annually. The post-combustion CCS facility on the plant’s third unit became the world’s first commercial scale plant upon launch in 2014 and can capture up to 90% of CO2 and sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions produced.

The captured CO2 is then sold to oil companies for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations or deposited into underground wells for storage, and the SO2 can be turned into sulfuric acid and sold to make fertilisers and other products.

During the Q&A session, Monea would not divulge the price that CO2 captured at the Boundary Dam plant sells for, citing a confidentiality agreement with Sask Power’s EOR client.

He said CCS operations in the US sold their CO2 for an average price of US$30-50/tonne.

The tax extenders bill passed by the US Congress last week included a provision for CCS credits through 2030.

The “45Q” credit sees the CCS tax credit for storing carbon underground rise from $20/t to $50/t by 2027, while facilities that use captured carbon in EOR operations will see their tax credit increase from $10/t to $35/t over the same period.

By Matt Lithgow – [email protected]

 

View Original Article on Carbon Pulse, February 15, 2018