The pilot plant for the planned new project
The Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, which depends heavily on burning coal for power, will build one of the world’s first commercial-scale power plants that will capture carbon dioxide emissions, the provincial government said on Tuesday.
Saskatchewan said the power utility it owns, SaskPower, will proceed with a long-planned C$1.24 billion conversion of a generating unit at its Boundary Dam Power Station at the city of Estevan as the province moves to comply with new Canadian requirements for cleaner coal power.
The project will have capacity to produce 110 megawatts of electricity per year, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tonnes — the equivalent of taking 250,000 vehicles off the road each year, the provincial government said…
The province, which is rich in oil, potash and uranium, had been holding off on final approval of the project as it awaited details of new federal regulations for coal plants.
SaskPower’s three coal-fired power plants account for half of the utility’s electricity production…
The new standards will force electricity producers to phase out older, high-emitting coal-fired plants and require newer facilities to match the lower greenhouse-gas emissions of more efficient natural-gas-fired plants. Unless operators make substantial investments to cut emissions from aging coal-burning facilities, they’ll be required to shut down.
TransAlta Corp, the country’s largest operators of coal-fired plants, is developing a near-commercial-scale demonstration project near Edmonton, Alberta, that will also capture carbon.
SaskPower, meanwhile, is working on deals to sell its captured carbon to oil drillers, which can use it to extract oil from the ground, a spokesman for the utility said. Cenovus Energy Inc currently imports carbon from the United States to extract oil at its Weyburn, Saskatchewan, oilfield.
Looking forward to seeing what can be done on a commercial scale. I’ve noted pilot plants here in North America and in Europe; but, I’m curious to see what can be accomplished in the real world.