NET Power, LLC, the developer of a new, emissions-free, natural gas power generation technology, today announced the funding and completion of major project agreements for its first-of-a-kind power plant. The 50MWt demonstration plant will validate the world's first natural gas power generation system that produces no air emissions and includes full CO2 capture without requiring expensive, efficiency-reducing carbon capture equipment.
"This program highlights the private sector's unique ability to develop breakthrough technologies without having to settle for anything less than compelling economics," said NET Power CEO Bill Brown. "We are extremely excited to move forward on this important power plant with the outstanding team of Exelon (NYSE: EXC), CB&I (NYSE: CBI), Toshiba (OP: TOSBF) and 8 Rivers Capital."
The $140 million project—which includes ongoing process engineering, plant engineering, procurement and construction, a full testing and operations program, and commercial product development—is funded by a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from Exelon Corporation and CB&I.
"This technology is a potential game changer in reducing carbon emissions from power generation," Exelon President and CEO Chris Crane said. "The collaboration with CB&I, Toshiba and 8 Rivers is another step towards Exelon's vision of a clean, innovative energy future."
Toshiba Corporation, following several years of development and testing, has begun manufacturing a novel supercritical CO2 turbine for the project. Operations, maintenance and development arrangements have been completed with Exelon. Contracts for plant engineering, procurement and construction are in place with CB&I. 8 Rivers Capital, the inventor of the technology, will provide continued technology development services and the intellectual property for the project. The plant will be built at a site in Texas, with commissioning expected to begin in 2016 and be completed in 2017. Design and development is also progressing on the first 295MWe commercial-scale NET Power plant.
"Toshiba is excited to have achieved this major milestone together with Exelon, CB&I and 8 Rivers," said Shigenori Shiga, President and CEO of Toshiba Corporation Power Systems Company. "We are pleased that our world-leading experience in supercritical steam has paved the way for the design and manufacture of the innovative supercritical CO2 turbine that we will provide for this new, game-changing technology. We are committed not only to the success of the turbine and combustor for the demonstration plant, but, more importantly, to the successful development of the commercial plant as well."
"Our participation in NET Power further expands CB&I's technology portfolio and will allow our customers the ability to meet today's increasing energy demands while complying with tomorrow's stringent environmental regulations," said Philip K. Asherman, CB&I's President and Chief Executive Officer.
NET Power's system transforms the future of both the electricity and the oil and gas markets. Using a novel supercritical CO2 power cycle known as the Allam Cycle, the technology will match or lower the current cost of electricity from natural gas—already one of the most affordable sources of electricity available—while also inherently capturing all carbon dioxide and other air emissions. The cycle produces carbon dioxide as a pipeline-quality byproduct, as opposed to in conventional power plants, where CO2 is produced as an exhaust-gas mixed with other pollutants and emitted through a stack.
NET Power's pipeline-ready CO2 can be sequestrated or used in enhanced oil recovery, a decades-old process that uses carbon dioxide to significantly increase production from mature oil wells while permanently storing the CO2 underground. In addition, NET Power plants can either significantly reduce water usage compared to conventional plants, or eliminate water usage entirely, in each case with only a minor reduction in plant efficiency.