Prairie State Selected for DOE Carbon Capture Study

Prairie State Generating Company (PSGC) is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the site of a $15 million Department of Energy (DOE) project, led by the University of Illinois (U of I), to design a transformational carbon capture system. PSGC is investing $3.75 million in cost-share for the project to produce a “shovel-ready” front-end engineering and design (FEED) study at one of Prairie State’s 800-megawatt coal-fired power units.

DOE is investing in R&D projects for transformational carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies because they are a critical component of driving down the cost of CCUS deployment. Supporting FEED studies for commercial carbon capture systems is necessary to fully understand the costs of these systems and the next step toward wide-scale deployment of the technology.

“As one of the newest, most efficient coal-fired power plants in the country, Prairie State is an ideal candidate for this FEED study,” said Don Gaston, President and CEO of PSGC. Prairie State’s power plant combines highly efficient pulverized coal technology and supercritical steam generation with advanced emission controls, resulting in higher efficiency and lower air pollution emissions compared with subcritical plants.

“If the project design is implemented at Prairie State, it will be the world’s largest carbon capture retrofit,” said Kevin OBrien, Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and the Illinois State Water Survey at the U of I’s Prairie Research Institute. “It would be a powerful signal for other coal-fired power plants to consider carbon capture technology where it is possible.”

“We believe that the U.S. should lead the way in developing technologies to reduce and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. As other countries continue to increase coal usage, the U.S. has the unique opportunity to export clean coal technologies and make a real difference to global climate change,” added Gaston.

Prairie State has partnered with the University of Illinois’ Sustainable Technology Center, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sargent and Lundy, and Kiewit Corporation for this study. A Steering Committee, chaired by Gaston, will be comprised of senior level leadership from each of these organizations and will guide the strategic direction and successful completion of the FEED study project and transparent communications with the DOE.

Located in Washington County, Illinois, the Prairie State Energy Campus is a technologically advanced electric generation facility utilizing domestic Illinois coal resources from its adjacent underground mine to power its 1,600 megawatt power plant. Since 2012, Prairie State has been providing baseload electricity on behalf of its not-for-profit Owners to more than 2.5 million families across the Midwest.