First fire of 50 MW combustor in CO2-based power plant

NET Power says it has successfully achieved first fire of its supercritical carbon dioxide (CO₂) demonstration power plant and test facility located in La Porte, TX, including the firing of the 50MWth Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation ("Toshiba") commercial-scale combustor. Firing of the combustor involves the integrated operation of the full NET Power process.  Following rigorous testing, the combustor will be integrated with the 

turbine

 and power will be generated.  NET Power is targeting the global deployment of 300MWe-class commercial-scale plants beginning as early as 2021.

First fire is a critical milestone for the demonstration plant, as it validates the fundamental operability and technical foundation of NET Power's new power system, which is designed to produce low-cost electricity from natural 

gas

 while generating near-zero atmospheric emissions, including full CO₂ capture.  The achievement also confirms the operation of Toshiba's combustor at commercial scale, as several 50MWth combustors will be utilized together in NET Power's 300MWe commercial facilities.

NET Power is a collaboration between Exelon Generation, McDermott, and 8 Rivers Capital.  Constructed over a 2-year period, the company's 50-megawatt thermal (25MWe) demonstration plant is the world's only industrial-scale supercritical carbon dioxide-based power plant and CO₂ cycle test facility.

The plant is designed to demonstrate NET Power's Allam Cycle technology, which uses a new 

turbine

 and combustor developed specifically for the process by Toshiba. Using carbon dioxide (CO₂) as a working fluid to drive a combustion 

turbine

, the Allam Cycle eliminates virtually all emissions from natural 

gas

 power generation without requiring expensive, efficiency-reducing carbon capture equipment.  As the energy sector and electricity consumers become increasingly carbon-conscious, NET Power and Toshiba are poised to provide the market with the industry's first natural 

gas

 power generation technology that is low-cost, flexible, and carbon-emissions free.

In parallel with these demonstration plant tests, NET Power is advancing the development of commercial-scale 300MWe natural 

gas

 plants.  NET Power is working on projects with power generation, oil and 

gas

, and industrial companies in the U.S. and globally, as well as a number of governmental agencies abroad.  With the passage of 45Q carbon capture tax credit reform in the U.S. and the demand for low-cost CO₂ in industrial processes that use and sequester CO₂, the company sees a large demand for NET Power plants and Toshiba 

turbines

, beginning in the very near term.

Existing natural 

gas

 plants burn natural 

gas

 with air, which is a mix of oxygen and nitrogen.  These technologies emit CO₂, which is difficult and expensive to separate from the nitrogen and residual oxygen.  Unfortunately, this has made carbon capture uneconomic for traditional power plants.  NET Power addresses the cost hurdles of older technologies with a novel process—an oxy-fuel, supercritical CO2 power cycle—that produces electricity efficiently while inherently eliminating all air emissions.  The system burns natural 

gas

 with oxygen, as opposed to air. Additionally, instead of using steam, the cycle uses high-pressure CO₂ to turn a 

turbine

, in effect turning the CO₂ problem into the climate solution.  NET Power produces only electricity, liquid water and pipeline-ready CO2, as well as valuable argon and nitrogen, all while operating as efficiently as most natural 

gas

 power plants in operation today. Additionally, for a small reduction in efficiency, the technology can operate without water. The technology will serve as an affordable and reliable cornerstone of the world's clean energy future.