Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a cooperative agreement to Summit Texas Clean Energy LLC (STCE) for the Texas Clean Energy Project to design, build, and demonstrate an integrated gasification combined cycle electric generating facility, complete with co-production of high-value products and carbon capture and storage. The project was a third round selection under DOE's Clean Coal Power Initiative, a cost-shared collaboration between the Federal Government and private industry aimed at stimulating investment in low-emission coal-based power generation technology through successful commercial demonstrations.

STCE, a project development company of Summit Power Group Inc., will build the new plant west of Midland-Odessa in Ector County, Texas. The plant will produce power by converting sub-bituminous coal into hydrogen-rich synthesis gas (syngas) and CO2. The syngas and high-quality steam will be fed to the combined cycle combustion and steam turbine generator sets to generate about 275 megawatts of electricity--enough power for more than 165,000 homes. The facility will also co-generate other marketable products, such as sulfur and urea. The cost-shared project will be administered by the DOE's Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

About 90 percent of the CO2 produced from the facility, up to a maximum rate of about 3 million tons per year, will be captured, compressed, and transported using existing regional pipelines to the oilfields of the west Texas Permian Basin. There it will be stored in the same underground formations that have trapped oil and gas for eons. By choosing oilfields as the CO2 injection sites, oil production will be increased in a process known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and the CO2 will be closely monitored as it is safely sequestered from the atmosphere. The west Texas Permian Basin is the largest CO2-EOR region in the world.

Other benefits from the project include:

  • The proposed plant will use a zero-liquid-discharge approach to eliminate the release of process and cooling water to the environment.
  • Additional domestic oil production will increase the United States' energy security.
  • According to STCE, the new plant is anticipated to boost the local economy by creating 1,500 construction jobs and at least 125 permanent operational positions.

The estimated total cost for the project is $1.73 billion. The DOE cost-share is limited to $350 million, or approximately 20 percent of the total project costs. The project consists of four phases: project definition (phase I), design (phase II), construction (phase III), and operations (phase IV). Sequestration will begin by 2014.