GE Technology Selected for IGCC Project in Southern California BP-Rio Tinto Joint Venture Project Planned to Capture Up to 90% of Carbon
GE Energy has signed a technology licensing agreement with Hydrogen Energy for a proposed 250-megawatt power plant that would use integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology, a product of ecomagination. The plant, to be located near Bakersfield, in Kern County, Calif., would be designed to capture up to 90 percent of its carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration in an adjacent oil field.
“This is a homecoming of sorts for GE and IGCC technology,” said Monte Atwell, general manager, gasification of GE Energy. “GE technology was involved in the first IGCC pilot plant in Barstow, Calif., and we are pleased to be deploying the next generation of this technology to deliver low carbon power to the people of Southern California.”
HEI is a joint venture of BP Alternative Energy and multinational mining company Rio Tinto Hydrogen. In 2007, GE and BP formed a global alliance to jointly develop and deploy technology for at least five IGCC power plants that could dramatically reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation. The Hydrogen Energy California County project would be the first power plant built under that alliance.
“Offering further proof that IGCC with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is viable commercial technology, this plant could become a model for new power generating facilities worldwide and help position the United States as a leader in low carbon power generation,” said Jonathan Briggs, regional director of the Americas for Hydrogen Energy. “We are pleased to team up with GE Energy, a world leader in IGCC experience, for this milestone project, which will offer electricity generators with a low carbon fuel option that can contribute enormously to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.”
IGCC plants have been deployed worldwide and have demonstrated the capability to significantly reduce emissions. The technology converts solid fuels, such as coal, into a cleaner burning hydrogen-rich fuel, which then is used by a gas turbine combined-cycle system to generate electricity, providing a cleaner, economical coal-to-power option. IGCC also significantly reduces criteria emissions—sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, mercury and particulate matter—and decreases water consumption by up to 30 percent (as compared to a conventional coal plant).
The technology proposed for the Hydrogen Energy California plant would convert petroleum coke, coal or a combination of each into a synthesis gas (syngas). Chemical scrubbers would filter out pollutants and would separate CO2, leaving a hydrogen-rich fuel to power the gas turbine combined-cycle system. The carbon captured from the plant would be piped to an adjacent oil field, where it would be used for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration operations.
GE Energy has been at the forefront of IGCC technology for more than two decades. GE technology was involved in several milestone projects, including the pilot IGCC plant, Coolwater, in Barstow, Calif., and the Polk Tampa Electric IGCC plant in Florida, that helped demonstrate the commercial feasibility of IGCC. GE also is supplying IGCC technology for Duke Energy’s plant in Edwardsport, Ind., that is expected to be the world’s largest IGCC facility when it reaches commercial operation in 2012.
There are nearly 70 GE-licensed gasification facilities operating around the world today and approximately 40 of these plants use commercial technology to separate carbon.
About GE Energy
GE Energy (www.ge.com/energy) is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies, with 2008 revenue of $29.3 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy works in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; and other alternative fuels. Numerous GE Energy products are certified under ecomagination, GE’s corporate-wide initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.
GE is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.ge.com . GE is Imagination at Work.