Jan. 10, 2017 – The National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative commends NEORI member NRG for its visionary leadership in commencing commercial operation of its groundbreaking Petra Nova carbon capture project on time and on budget.
The first commercial-scale retrofit of an existing coal fired power plant for in the U.S. and the largest post-combustion carbon capture project in the world, NRG will capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2)—1.6 million tons annually—from flue gas of an existing coal unit near Houston, TX for use in enhanced oil recovery with geologic storage at an existing Texas oil field. Petra Nova will deliver reliable baseload power, increased domestic oil production, high-paying energy sector jobs, and a significant net reduction in lifecycle carbon emissions.
Petra Nova successfully entering formal operation in the U.S. marks a crucial further milestone in the ongoing commercialization of carbon capture technology in the power sector. It sends a powerful signal that carbon capture technology is ready for more widespread commercial deployment with electric power generation.
Petra Nova also underscores the crucial role that federal policy can play in accelerating carbon capture deployment at additional coal-fired power plants in the U.S. NRG effectively utilized funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and federal tax-exempt bonds to help finance Petra Nova.
Last year, Congress considered broadly-supported bipartisan House and Senate legislation to extend and reform the federal Section 45 tax credit for CO2 storage, along with bipartisan bills to advance other federal carbon capture incentives, such as the tax-exempt bonds used by NRG. Following a national election in which jobs and domestic energy production featured prominently, Petra Nova exemplifies the kind of energy, jobs and environmental triple win that could be replicated across the country, if Congress and incoming Trump Administration move quickly this year to ensure passage of federal carbon capture incentive legislation.