American Electric Power won $4 million in funding from the Global CCS Institute to help install a commercial-scale carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) system on AEP's Mountaineer coal-fueled power plant in New Haven, W.Va.

Global CCS Institute, based in Canberra, Australia, will support the initial engineering and characterization phase of AEP's commercial-scale installation of a CCS system using Alstom's chilled ammonia process to capture at least 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from 235 MW of Mountaineer's 1,300 MW of capacity. The captured carbon dioxide, approximately 1.5 million metric tons per year, will be treated and compressed, then injected into suitable geologic formations for permanent storage some 1.5 miles below the surface. The system will begin commercial operation in 2015.

The U.S. Department of Energy is funding 50 percent of the commercial-scale project costs, up to $334 million. AEP said it is talking with other potential international partners for the project.

AEP and Alstom began operating a smaller-scale validation of the chilled-ammonia technology at Mountaineer in September 2009. That system captures up to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide from a slipstream of flue gas equivalent to 20 MW of generating capacity. The captured carbon dioxide, up to 100,000 tons a year, is also being compressed and injected for permanent storage.

The Global CCS Institute works with organizations and governments to accelerate eployment of commercial CCS. The interim goal of the Institute is to accelerate the development of 20 commercial-scale integration demonstrations. The Institute has more than 270 members, including governments such as the United States.

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