The US Department of Energy has completed a carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) study for several Wyoming coal-fuelled power plants, highlighting significant benefits for such technologies.

Released yesterday, the study had a goal to evaluate the potential opportunities for retrofitting existing power plants with CCUS technology, the economic impact, and the CO2 emissions reductions for the state compared to alternatives.

“We are in a critical time for energy policy and production. Wyoming can help lead in developing and support advantages that boost our coal industry and reduce carbon emissions,” said Governor Mark Gordon. 

“This study shows that through innovative technologies, like CCUS, we can develop affordable energy more cleanly, and clean energy more affordably, providing a vision for the future of fossil energy,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes.

“Electricity generated from fossil fuels that is reliable, cost effective and nearly zero CO2 emissions is in the best interest of Wyoming and the country. I applaud Governor Gordon’s visions and value Wyoming’s leadership in CCUS.”

The study compared CCUS use to an alternative case in most recent PacifiCorp 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP). The results showed CCUS retrofits provided the following potential benefits:

  •  Reduced CO2 emissions by 37% more than the 2019 IRP preferred portfolio.
  •  Produced avoided costs for CO2 emissions that are $24 per tonne less expensive than the Baseline IRP.
  • Reduced the amount ratepayers could ay by approximately 10% less per month than the Baseline IRP.
  • Lifted Wyoming employment benefits up to five times higher than employment benefits from implementing the Baseline IRP.
  • Produced high local and state revenue from property, sale, severance, and other associated coal taxes as well as higher federal royalty payments.

“Aggressive CCUS initiatives could establish Wyoming as a world leader in that technology. That effort would pay large and increased dividends to the state as CCUS becomes one of the dominant economic and energy technologies of the 21st century,” said Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy Steve Winberg.