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DOE awards $150M to Southern Company to test advanced carbon-capture & gasification technologies

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has signed a new 5-year cooperative agreement with Southern Company to evaluate advanced carbon-capture and gasification technologies at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Ala. The total award value is $187 million. DOE will contribute $150 million, with Southern Company adding $37 million in cost-sharing.

Under the agreement, which will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Southern Company (Atlanta, Ga.) will test both pre- and post-combustion carbon-capture technologies, as well as materials and processes that support advanced fossil-fuel conversion systems, primarily coal gasification. The agreement supports national efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through more efficient, lower-cost coal conversion and carbon capture and storage.

Southern Company’s cost-shared project proposal, “Post-Combustion and Pre-Combustion Carbon Dioxide Capture and Gasification Technologies Testing,” was selected in January 2014 following a funding opportunity announcement issued in August 2013. The cooperative agreement for work to be completed was executed earlier this month.

Through this agreement, efforts at the NCCC will include:

  • Demonstrating integrated coal-based energy technology for plants with clean coal technology, including carbon capture.

  • Developing technologies that will subsequently be scaled directly to commercial-sized equipment and/or integrated with commercial projects, including those under DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative.

  • Advancing lower-cost technologies to capture carbon dioxide while enabling coal-based power generation for years to come.

The NCCC has been operating since 2009, when it was established by Southern Company at the Power Systems Development Facility under an earlier cooperative agreement with DOE. The NCCC is equipped to test multiple slipstreams from diverse fuel sources simultaneously under commercial conditions. At the NCCC, Southern Company will identify and test promising technologies from third-party developers from around the world, including government entities, industry, and universities.

Technologies tested and demonstrated at the NCCC will accelerate the development and improve the performance of cost-effective carbon-capture and gasification technologies.



It may be too late for coal. The coal industry in general and additionally the electrical generation business has been so adamant about protecting the sale and use of coal without any consideration to efficiency and pollution, choosing to fight at every turn, that it just may be too late. Do we actually belive that the people who were dumping so much pollution on us, and only for their own enrichment, will now make an honest effort to help clean up our air? I have my doubts. I have seen their lies. I have seen their greed. They always talk about the jobs, but wherever they have been turns into a giant slum. Look at West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky and Southwest Pennsylvania. Are those places rich from their resource? No they are some of the poorest people in our country. But hey, now they are going to make it clean. Sure, whatever.


Amen Brotherk. Close the coal mines and make jobs by cutting switchgrass to dump in the mines to sequester carbon. They will be healthier jobs, too.


They can use coal with IGCC to make power AND fuels. By using natural gas for the hydrogen and coal for the carbon they can make aviation fuel without imported oil.

There is a future for coal in this country, we just have to use it more wisely and cleanly. There may be no such thing as "clean" coal, but there can be cleaner coal while reducing oil imports.

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