Carbon capture study performed on Wyoming coal-fueled power plants

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Wyo4News Staff, [email protected]

CHEYENNE, WYOMING (September 3, 2020) — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed a carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) study for several Wyoming coal-fueled power plants. The study showed CCUS retrofits can provide significant benefits.

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The goal of the study was to evaluate the potential opportunities for retrofitting existing power plants with CCUS technology, the economic impact, and the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions for the State of Wyoming compared to alternatives. Governor Mark Gordon requested the study.

DOE’s partnership with the State of Wyoming was led by Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy Steve Winberg.

The study compared CCUS use to an alternative case in the most recent PacifiCorp 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP). The results showed CCUS retrofits provided the following potential benefits:

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  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 37 percent (100 million metric tons) more than the 2019 IRP preferred portfolio (henceforth referred to as Baseline IRP).
  • Produced avoided costs for CO2 emissions that are $24 per ton ($21.5/metric ton) less expensive than the Baseline IRP.
  • Reduced the amount ratepayers could pay by approximately 10 percent less per month than the Baseline IRP.
  • Lifted Wyoming employment benefits up to five times higher than employment benefits from implementing the Baseline IRP.
  • Produced higher local and state revenue from property, sale, severance, and other associated coal taxes as well as higher federal royalty payments.

The study considered the retrofit of nine units at four power plants in Wyoming owned by Rocky Mountain Power.

The study is available online here.

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