Contact UsMIT MITei

As of September 30, 2016, the Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies program at MIT has closed. The website is being kept online as a reference but will not be updated.

Trailblazer Fact Sheet: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage Project

Company/Alliance: Tenaska, Arch Coal and Fluor Corporation

Location: Sweetwater, Texas, USA

Feedstock: Coal

Size: 600 MW net; 765 MW gross

Capture Technology: Super critical pulverized coal: Fluor's Econamine FG plus technology (85-90% capture rate)

CO2 Fate: EOR in the Permian oil fields: Estimated 5.75 Mt/yr CO2 storage capacity available

Timing: Cancelled as no longer economically viable


Total cost of project was projected to be $3 billion. The project was awarded in October 2010, a GCCSI award of $8.03 million.


Tenaska announced in June 25, 2013 that the Trailblazer CCS project was cancelled as it was no longer economically viable.

In December 2010, Tenaska received final air quality permits. This allows Tenaska to begin construction on the Trailblazer power plant. Tenaska said the decision was fueled by a challenging market climate of regulatory uncertainties, low natural gas prices, and the continuing decline in costs for renewables.

The originall timing was to begin commercial operation in 2014, after having the permits filed in 2008 and the final decision to proceed made in 2009.

Texas Legislature passed Advanced Clean Energy Project legislation in May 2007 (House Bill 3732). This Bill encourages power developers, such as Tenaska, to bring a variety of advanced-technology clean energy projects to Texas. Tenaska intends to meet the emissions control standard contained in the legislation and hopes to obtain state incentives and potential federal incentives for its CCS at electric generating facilities. An agreement was made with the EPA that the power plant will not need an air quality permit if it is built with 85% CO2 capture and storage. Tenaska received its final air permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allowing Tenaska to begin construction in December 2010.

The Permian Basin has many mature oil fields which would benefit from EOR. Tenaska hopes to supply enough CO2 to produce an additional 1 billion barrels of oil to the Texas economy.

Project Link: Tenaska Trailblazer Energy Center web page is no longer available

Other Sources and Press Releases:
Tenaska drops Taylorville,Trailblazer advanced coal power projects (June 2013)
Tenaska Trailblazer front end engineering design (FEED) study (February 2012)
GCCSI: Development of the Tenaska Trailblazer Energy Center (January 2011)
$7.7M received from GCSSI for CCS study (October 2010)
Tenaska moves forward after EPA air permit
(January 2009)
Clean Coal Portfolio Standard (January 2009)