Directors put proposed demonstration project to capture carbon dioxide emissions at the Antelope Valley Station on hold.
Basin Electric Power Cooperative
- December 16, 2010
Bismarck, N.D. - Basin Electric's directors decided this week that a proposed demonstration project to capture emissions of carbon dioxide at the Antelope Valley Station (AVS), Beulah, N.D., will remain on hold until the economic viability of such a venture can be further developed.
Ron Harper, Basin Electric CEO and general manager, was satisfied with the effort.
"The FEED study accomplished its purpose. This is the first time in the region that a detailed analysis of a carbon capture project from a conventional coal-based power plant has been conducted," he said. "We now know the required infrastructure, the cost, and the integration and operational challenges that will be required to continue developing a carbon capture technology. In the current economic climate, we are postponing further investments for the time being, but regard it as important technology to consider for the future."
Harper said Basin Electric has been working on this project for over three years and has made a huge investment in time, human resources and capital to come to this decision point. In addition to the overall cost of the project, other factors affecting the decision included:
Based on the FEED study, Basin Electric carefully analyzed the technical, operational, regulatory and financial risks for installing carbon-capture technology at a conventional coal-based power plant. "It's imperative that a revenue stream, such as EOR, be available in order to make a project like this viable," Harper said. "While a strong potential exists for CO2 sales for EOR, they have not yet developed and there's no certainty that they'll develop in the near future."
The FEED study was conducted in conjunction with HTC Purenergy, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Doosan Power Systems, Crawley, UK. HTC has designed a proprietary CO2 capture technology, supported by Doosan that is designed to capture 90 percent of the incoming CO2 from the exhaust gases produced by one of the AVS units.
The cost of the FEED study was $6.2 million; about half ($2.7 million) of the study was funded by a grant from the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The remainder was funded by Basin Electric.
"With the information in hand, we know what the impacts of the costs and the operational challenges of a project like this will have on our consumers and how they would be affected if a full-scale implementation of this capture technology were to be employed," Harper said.
"Basin Electric isn't willing to place the burden of developing CO2 capture technology on its rural electric members," Harper said.
Even though the project is on hold for now, Harper said Basin Electric will continue to work with the EERC in Grand Forks and the PCOR Partnership to research CO2 storage technology.
Basin Electric is a consumer-owned, regional cooperative headquartered in Bismarck, N.D. It generates and transmits electricity to 135 member rural electric systems in nine states: Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. These member systems distribute electricity to about 2.8 million consumers. For more information, go to www.basinelectric.com.