The US Department of Energy has received proposals for a new generation of clean coal projects, altogether valued at nearly $6 billion, in the second round of the president’s Clean Coal Power Initiative (CCPI). There is a strong bias towards coal gasification projects, amounting to 97% of the total by value.

“Industry has enthusiastically responded to the department’s latest clean coal solicitation calling for technologies that would help make it possible for coal to remain a cornerstone of our domestic energy portfolio, particularly for power generation, and to continue that role into the long-term future” commented secretary of energy Spencer Abraham. “We are pleased these latest proposals encompass an advanced generation of technologies that will help us meet national priorities set forth by president Bush in his Clear Skies and Global Climate Change objectives.”

The new proposals are in response to Bush’s pledge to invest up to $2 billion in federal funding over 10 years to advance technologies that can help meet the nation’s growing demand for electricity while simultaneously providing a secure, low-cost energy source and protecting the environment. Earlier this year, eight projects were selected in round one, the initial phase of the CCPI.

These newest proposals request about $1 billion in federal cost sharing for projects. Those eventually selected will have to demonstrate coal gasification system advances that enhance efficiency, environmental performance and reliability, and advancements that support the President’s Clear Skies Initiative to reduce power plant emissions, particularly mercury, by about 70 % by 2018, as well as the Global Climate Change Initiative to reduce carbon emissions growth over the next ten years.

The projects are also intended to provide the technical foundation for the FutureGen initiative to create the world’s first zero-emissions, coal-based power and hydrogen production plant, which will include carbon dioxide removal and sequestration.

97% of the proposals (by value) offer advancements for power generation based on commercial demonstrations of gasification technology and improvements to efficiency, reliability, availability, environmental performance, and economic performance. These proposals also present opportunities to demonstrate potential readiness of energy technologies for CO2 management.

Other proposals offer approaches for mercury and multi-pollutant control and for efficiency improvements that encompass coal treatment methods and post-combustion technologies, as well as integrated combustion and control system advancements applicable to the needs of the existing fleet, and future energy plants.

DOE will check each proposal ,against prerequisite conditions for detailed evaluation including the proposer’s plan to share at least 50% of the total allowable cost of the proposed project, commitment to repayment of the government’s investment in the demonstration project, and other aspects including project site, coal use, and electricity production. Qualifying proposals will be subject to detailed evaluation, and DOE anticipates announcing its selection by the end of 2004.

The 13 proposers are as follows:

•Alaska Cowboy Coal Power Consortium, Anchorage, Alaska. Commercial plant for innovative low temperature drying of low-rank coal. $16.56 million of $37.4 million cost.

•Basin Electric Power Co-operative, Stanton, North Dakota. $140 million of a $756 million project to repower the 615 MW Leland Olds unit 2 with a hybrid (syngas and char burn from lignite) gasification CC plant.

• Breen Energy Solutions, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Near-zero multi-pollutant emissions technology for new and existing plants. $13 million of $27 million.

• ClearStack Combustion Corporation, Hutsonville, Illinois. With AEG and EPRI. To retrofit AEG’s Hutsonville

80 MW unit 4 with new technology to demonstrate lower cost multi pollutant reduction. $6.5 million of $13 million project.

• EnviRes LLC, East St. Louis, Illinois. Commercial demonstration of new and lower cost gasification process producing separate H-rich and CO-rich streams. $127 million of $254 million.

• Excelsior Energy Inc., Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota. With ConocoPhillips, to build and operate the 531 MW integrated gasification Mesaba plant. $150 million of $1.2 billion.

• FuelCell Energy, Inc., Kingsport, Tennessee. With Eastman Chemical and Solar Turbines, to design, build and test a 14 MW direct fuel cell/turbine hybrid plant firing coal derived gas. $26.6 million of $53.2 million.

• Medicine Bow Fuel & Power LLC, Medicine Bow, Wyoming. To develop, build and operate the Medicine Bow energy project, an integrated mine-mouth coal gasification project to produce 1000 Mwe and 26200 barrels/day of diesel fuel. $200 million of $2.76 billion.

• Minnesota Power, St. Louis County, Minnesota. Commercial version of industrial scale fuel gas production and integrated gasification CC cogeneration facility. $50 million of $120 million.

•NeuCo, Inc., Baldwin, Illinois. Controls for coal fired utility plants addressing an integrated system for pollutant control of combustion, boiler, and post-combustion emissions. $6.3 million of $12.6 million.

•Peabody Energy, Milan, New Mexico. Commercial scale demonstration of its airborne process scrubber, regeneration system and fertiliser production system at Mustang’s 300 MW Milan, New Mexico plant. $19.5 million of $78.9 million.

• Pegasus Technologies, Inc., Jewett, Texas. With Texas Genco, demonstration of optimised mercury speciation and multi-pollutant control on existing 890 MW utility boiler, using advanced sensor and optimisation techniques. $6.08 million of $12.16 million cost.

•Southern Company Services, Orange County, Florida. To construct and demonstrate a 285 MW transport gasifier plant to produce ‘one of cleanest coal plants in the world’. Applying for $235 million of the $557 million total cost.