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NET Power, LLC, recently announced that it built a power plant that will validate a new natural gas power system producing low-cost electricity with zero atmospheric emissions, including carbon dioxide. The 50MW demonstration plant is being built in La Porte, Texas.
The plant will demonstrate NET Power's Allam Cycle technology, which uses carbon dioxide as a working fluid to drive a combustion turbine, eliminates all atmospheric emissions without requiring expensive, efficiency-reducing carbon capture equipment, and ultimately produces pipeline-quality CO2 that can be sequestered or used in various industrial processes, including enhanced oil recovery.
NET Power uses an oxy-fuel, supercritical CO2 power cycle to produce electricity, while inherently eliminating air emissions. The system burns natural gas with oxygen, as opposed to air, and uses high-pressure carbon dioxide, as opposed to inefficient steam like most power plants, to drive a turbine. NET Power produces only electricity, liquid water and pipeline-ready CO2, while operating efficiently. The technology can operate without water, actually becoming a net water producer.
NET Power, a Durham, NC-based company developing the natural gas-fueled Allam Cycle power system, is a collaboration between Exelon Generation, CB&I, and 8 Rivers Capital. Executives from each of the companies marked the start of construction of the demonstration plant on the site. The $140 million program includes demonstration plant design and construction, ongoing technology advancement, a full testing and operations program, and commercial product development. The program is funded by a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from Exelon and CB&I.
Toshiba has developed and is now manufacturing a new supercritical CO2 turbine and combustor for the project. CB&I is performing the engineering, procurement, and construction of the plant. Exelon is providing operations, maintenance, and development services. 8 Rivers invented and continues to advance the technology behind the project.
NET Power's 50MWth plant will be a fully operational unit that is likely to generate power to the grid while demonstrating key aspects of the Allam Cycle. Commissioning is expected to begin in late 2016 and is likely to be completed in 2017. The plant will also provide the validation to begin constructing 295MWe, commercial-scale NET Power plants.