ORLANDO, FL - Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, joined by Governor Jeb Bush, today announced a $235 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy that will aid in the development of one of the cleanest coal-fired power plants in the world. The project is a team effort led by Southern Company.
The grant comes as part of President George W. Bush’s 2002 Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI) to invest $2 billion over 10 years to advance technologies that can help meet the Nation's growing demand for electricity while providing a secure and low-cost energy source and protecting the environment.
Secretary Abraham noted, "This project is a prime example of our Administration’s desire to develop cutting-edge technologies to help meet our Nation’s future energy needs. Advancing the technology for clean coal will go a long way toward giving us control of our energy future, and it will be an important part of safeguarding the environment for future generations. Clean energy technologies like those pioneered here mean jobs for this region, including high-tech, highly skilled jobs. Estimates suggest this project will account for more than 1,800 jobs which will help continue the expansion of Orlando’s economy.”
The plant will be located near Orlando at the Orlando Utilities Commission's Stanton Energy Center and will use installed advanced emission controls making it one of the cleanest, most energy-efficient coal power plants in the world. The total cost for the coal-based demonstration project is $557 million, of which DOE will contribute $235 million as the federal cost share.
The project was one of two selected to demonstrate advanced power generation systems using Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) technology, a variation on a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in which a coal-derived gas (produced by the coal gasifier) replaces the natural gas. In a combined cycle plant two power generators, or cycles, are used in combination to generate electricity in a very efficient manner.
The gas from the coal is first passed through a gas turbine to generate electricity; then the hot gas leaving the turbine is used to heat water to produce steam to power a steam turbine and generate electricity a second time. This approach increases the amount of electricity that can be generated from a ton of coal and does so in an environmentally sound manner. IGCC promises dramatically increased efficiency and reliability, improved environmental performance, reduced capital and operating costs, and flexibility to process both high- and low-rank coals.
The Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI)
The Clean Coal Power Initiative, under which this project was selected for funding, was initiated by President Bush in 2002. CCPI is an innovative technology demonstration program that fosters more efficient clean coal technologies for use in new and existing electric power generating facilities in the United States. Candidate technologies are demonstrated at full-scale to ensure proof-of-operation prior to commercialization.
The technologies developed under the CCPI program will help maintain the Nation's abundant coal resources as a cornerstone of our future domestic energy portfolio, particularly for power generation. The priorities for this round of competition were technology advancements for gasification-based electricity production, advanced mercury control, and sequestration and sequestration-readiness.
Technologies emerging from the program will help to meet the President’s environmental objectives for America as outlined in the Clear Skies Initiative (CSI), Global Climate Change Initiative, FutureGen, and the Hydrogen Initiative. Early CCPI demonstrations emphasize technologies that apply to existing power plants and construction of new plants. Later demonstrations will include systems comprising advanced turbines, membranes, fuel cells, gasification processes, hydrogen production, and other technologies. CCPI, an industry/government cost-shared partnership, responds to President Bush’s commitment to increase investment in clean coal technology.
Successful implementation of CCPI will solve many of the environmental issues associated with fossil-fuel use and provide high-efficiency, low-cost, future generating capacity.
Project Selection Process
All projects selected under Round 2 of the CCPI program underwent an intensely competitive evaluation process. Evaluation criteria included the proposer's plan to share at least 50 percent of the cost of the project and a commitment to repayment of the government's investment in the demonstration project. Forty technical DOE evaluators reviewed 13 proposals. While competing for $300 million in federal funds, the estimated total cost of the 13 proposals was $6 billion.