The United States Department of Energy (DOE) seeks to validate the feasibility of injecting, storing and monitoring CO2 in the subsurface (geologic storage) as an approach to mitigate atmospheric emissions of CO2. In an effort to promote the development of a framework and the infrastructure necessary for the validation and deployment of carbon sequestration technologies, DOE established seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs).
The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB), whose lead organization is the Southern States Energy Board (SSEB), represents 13 States within the south eastern United States of America (USA). The SECARB Anthropogenic Test R&D project is a demonstration of the deployment of CO2 capture, transport, geologic storage and monitoring technology. This project is an integral component of a plan by Southern Company, and its subsidiary, Alabama Power, to demonstrate integrated CO2 capture, transport and storage technology. The capture component of the test takes place at the James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant (Plant Barry) in Bucks, Alabama. The capture facility, equivalent to 25 MW, will utilize post-combustion amine capture technology licensed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America. CO2 captured at the plant will be transported by pipeline for underground storage in a deep, saline geologic formation within the Citronelle Dome located in Citronelle, Alabama.
Starting in the first quarter of 2012, up to 550 tonnes of CO2 per day will be captured and transported twelve miles by pipeline to the storage site for injection and subsurface storage. The injection target is the lower Cretaceous Paluxy Formation which occurs at 9,400 feet. Transportation and injection operations will continue for one to two years. Subsurface monitoring will be deployed through 2017 to track plume movement and monitor for leakage. This project will be one of the first and the largest fully-integrated commercial prototype coal-fired carbon capture and storage projects in the USA. This paper will discuss the results to date, including permitting efforts, baseline geologic analysis and detailed reservoir modeling of the storage site, framing the discussion in terms of the overall goals of the project.
Commercial-scale CCS technology deployment for the electrical utility industry will require a robust international R&D program with governmental support both in cost-share and in risk management. In an effort to comply with environmental legislation or regulation related to CO2, the electrical utility industry hope to be in a position to make financial decisions on utility boiler sourced CCS technology and associated risk management by 2020.