Project: AEP Mountaineer
Company/Alliance: American Electric Power, Alstom, RWE, NETL, and Battelle Memorial Institute
Location: Mountaineer Station, New Haven, West Virginia, USA
Process: Pulverized coal boiler combusting high-sulphur, bituminous coal
Size: 30 MW slide slip from the 1,300 MW Mountaineer Station: 0.1 Mt/yr CO2
Capture Technology: Post-combustion with chilled ammonia
CO2 Fate: Sequestration at 1.5 miles depth in the saline Mount Simon Sandstone
Timing: Phase 1: Start 2009; Scheduled to operate for 18 months (up to 5 years). Completed 2011
Scale Up: 235 MW; 1.5 Mt of CO2 captsured annually at a 90% capture rate. This scale up project has been cancelled primarily due to unknown climate policy
The total pilot project cost is >$100 million. DOE share of the cost being $16 million. AEP tried to increase their rates to cover $74 million but was denied by WV legislature.
The project was a combined ten-year effort with the US DOE. The DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy contributed $7.2 million while Alstom and AEP contributed $1.4 million for the initial phases of the project. Geologic investigation of the Mountaineer site cost $4.2 million.
Phase 2: The DOE awarded an additional $334 million in December 2009 for the 235 MW scale-up 10 year project (approximately half of the total cost of $668 million). The Global CCS Institute will provide AU$4 million (US$4.01 million) to support the initial engineering and characterization phase.
In July 2011 American Electric Power decided to halt its plans to build a carbon capture plant for a 235 MW generation unit at its 1.3 gigawatt Mountaineer power plant in New Haven, WV. The project represented Phase 2 of an ongoing CCPI project. Secretary Chu had earlier announced a $334 million award for the project on December 4, 2009. According to some sources, AEP dropped the project because the company was not certain that state regulators would allow it to recover the additional costs for the CCS project through rate increases charged to its customers. In addition, company officials cited broader economic and policy conditions as reasons for cancelling the project.40 Some commentators suggested that congressional inaction on setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the weak economy, may have diminished the incentives for a company like AEP to invest in CCS. One source concluded that “Phase 2 has been cancelled due to unknown climate policy.”
The pilot project in West Virginia was successfully operated for 12 to 18 months, starting in 2009 and is now completed. The project tested Alstom's chilled ammonia technology for CO2 capture from flue gases particular to natural gas combined cycle power plants. The 30 MW project came onto production in October 2009. By December 2010, 21,000 metric tons had been captured at >90% capture rate, ~4,400 hours of operation and 15,000 metric tons stored (13,500 into AEP-1 Copper Ridge formation and 1,500 into AEP-2 Rose Run formation). Process availability almost reached 100% for both capture and storage.
The Mount Simon Sandstone is shown to have ideal properties for storing CO2. The target depth was 1.5 miles below the surface where the formation has an estimated capacity for storing about 1.5 Mt/yr. Battelle was the storage contractor and injection for the pilot was through a pipeline system with off-site wellheads.
McNeil, C, I Bhattacharya, T Lohner, H J Holley Ii, M Kennedy, S Mawalkar, N Gupta, S Mishra, R Osborne, M Kelley, Lessons Learned from the Post-injection Site Care Program at the American Electric Power Mountaineer Product Validation Facility, Energy Procedia, Vol 63, pp 6141-6155, (2014) <Link to PDF>
Other Sources and Press Releases:
Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Research, Development, and Demonstration at the U.S. Department of Energy (June 2013)
AEP shelves ambitious plan to limit carbon (July 2011)
Battelle successfully completes small-scale carbon storage project (July 2011)
AEP move to stop carbon capture and sequestration project shocks utilities, miners (July 2011)
Mountaineer project deemed a success (May 2011)
Financial shortfall highlights absence of carbon price (April 2011)
AEP looks to expand Mountaineer to 240MW (March 2010)
Mountaineer receives $334M from DOE (December 2009)
NY Times news release on Mountaineer project (September 2009)
RWE join AEP in validation of CCS technology (November 2007)