A zero emissions natural gas-fired power plant last week, for the first time, contributed electric power to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid.
The power comes from NET Power’s 50-megawatt (MW) test facility in La Porte, Texas. NET Power’s technology mixes natural gas with oxygen, rather than air from the atmosphere, allowing the gas to burn more efficiently and at higher temperature and with fewer emissions.
Combustion releases carbon dioxide (CO2) that is captured under pressure as supercritical CO2 that is then is used to propel the plant’s turbine. After the CO2 leaves the turbine, it is stripped of water and either captured for sale for industrial processes or is piped back to be reused in the plant’s combustor.
NET Power is co-owned by Exelon Generation, McDermott International, 8 Rivers Capital, and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV), a subsidiary of energy company Occidental.
NET Power, based in Durham, North Carolina, says it is working with “multiple clients worldwide” to develop utility-scale NET Power plants, with initial projects aiming to come online “in the next five years.” All the CO2 by its commercial power plants will be either utilized or permanently stored, the company said.
NET Power plants produce only electricity, water, and pipeline ready CO2, while “operating at high-efficiency, comparable to conventional power plants,” the company says.
NET Power does not manufacture its own equipment. It licenses its processes to other companies. Toshiba supplied the combustor and turbine for the La Porte test facility and was a partner in the demonstration project.
NET Power is working on deploying commercial scale versions of technology with a recently announced 300-MW project in Alberta, Canada, and four other projects under development in the United States and the United Kingdom.