City Water, Light and Power plant chosen as site for carbon capture technology pilot testing

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has chosen the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI) to conduct large-scale pilot testing of a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology at Springfield, Ill., public power utility City Water, Light and Power’s (CWLP) Dallman Unit 4.

The DOE has allocated $47 million for the final phase of the project that will see the construction of a 10-megawatt (MW) Linde-BASF advanced post-combustion CO2 capture system to process the power plant’s flue gas. Illinois committed an additional $20 million to the cost of the final phase of the project.

Dallman 4 is a 200-MW pulverized coal power plant.

In making the award, the DOE said the successful construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 plant would demonstrate economic carbon capture technology and help enable commercialization of the technology.

The PRI projects the construction and operation of the Dallman Unit 4 carbon capture facility will have a regional economic impact of $47.1 million and generate tax revenue of $5.6 million.

“As a publicly-owned utility, this new construction and innovative initiative will be a boost to our local economy while the energy industry as a whole will also be watching CWLP to see how this technology performs,” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said in a statement.

The third phase of the Dallman carbon capture test project, final design and construction, is scheduled to begin in June and includes finalizing a detailed engineering plan and acquiring equipment and modules needed for the new system. Building the system is slated to begin in June 2022 with testing expected to take place from March 2024 through to May 2026.

“The success of this project would be a model and foundation for more accessible, attainable carbon capture systems at facilities around the world,” Kevin OBrien, principal investigator for the project and director of the PRI’s Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), said in a statement.

In addition to the carbon capture project at the Dallman plant, CWLP is working with ISTC on projects involving the use CO2 as feedstock for algae; scrubber wastewater treatment technology; beneficial reuse of coal fly ash in plastics, and a project advancing the design of a hybrid power plant and energy storage system.

“A proven and cost-effective carbon capture solution is what plants need to be able to demonstrate and transition to if a balanced, resilient and reliable energy grid is the goal,” Doug Brown, CWLP’s chief utility engineer, said in a statement. “Further, I’m pleased the University is planning spinoff projects from this work,” he added.