Minnesota Company Gets $36 Million To Build Clean Coal Plant
The Department of Energy has selected Excelsior Energy Inc. of Minnetonka, MN, to receive $36 million for the development of a clean coal-fired power plant.
Excelsior Energy Inc. and ConocoPhillips will construct and operate the 531-megawatt Mesaba Energy Project in Hoyt Lakes, MN. The project, which is expected to create 1,150 construction and high-tech jobs, will incorporate results from technology studies and lessons learned at the Wabash River Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant in Terre Haute, Ind., to reduce costs and improve efficiency and availability for a next generation, oxygen-blown gasification plant using bituminous coal.
The total cost for the coal-based demonstration project is $1.18 billion, of which DOE will contribute $36 million as the federal cost share.
The project was one of two selected to demonstrate advanced power generation systems using IGCC technology, a variation on a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in which a coal-derived gas (produced by the coal gasifier) replaces the natural gas. In a combined cycle plant two power generators, or cycles, are used in combination to generate electricity in a very efficient manner.
The gas from the coal is first passed through a gas turbine to generate electricity; then the hot gas leaving the turbine is used to heat water to produce steam to power a steam turbine and generate electricity a second time. This approach increases the amount of electricity that can be generated from a ton of coal in an environmentally sound manner.