The first large-scale carbon capture power plant in the world recently came online in the Canadian region of Saskatchewan. The $1.3 billion, 110 MW project represents the first time that the real-world effectiveness of the technology is truly being tested. It should be interesting.
Whatever your opinion may be on the technology/approach — waste of money, too little too late, best idea ever, godsend, etc — there’s no denying that this represents a significant step forward for it. If the technology is going to have any effect on the climate worth noting at all, such projects will have to become commonplace relatively soon.
While the project has been online since the end of September, the official ribbon-cutting ceremony — held by Saskatchewan’s state-owned electricity provider SaskPower International — wasn’t held until just a few days ago.
Climate Central provides some details on the project:
The Boundary Dam power plant promises to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 90% by trapping C02 underground before the gas reaches the atmosphere – making its opening a milestone in the coal industry’s efforts to remain viable in a low-carbon economy.
The company said the project would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 million tons a year, or the equivalent of taking 250,000 cars off the road, in one of the more fossil fuel-dependent regions of Canada.
Captured CO2 from the Boundary Dam project will be pumped underground and sold to the Cenovus oil company for use in priming nearby oil fields, or buried in geological formations.
“Saskatchewan is number one in the world,” stated Brad Page, the chief executive of the Global CCS Institute. “This is an incredibly important event from our perspective.”
Hard to say if there’s more to that statement other than simple bluster. But I guess that it’s hard to tell at this point. Time will tell.
Given that the technology has yet to be truly embraced in the US, it’ll be interesting to see if this development has an effect there. Worth keeping in mind is that new power plant emissions rules are coming down the line in the US, via the EPA.
Image Credit: SaskPowerCCS
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