American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.

Abstract

The economics of the use of underground coal gasification to supply the fuel for a combined-cycle power generation plant are studied. Much of the data relative to the underground process was obtained from the experiment being process was obtained from the experiment being conducted by the Energy Research and Development Administration (E.R.D.A.) (previously the U.S. Bureau of Mines) at Hanna, Wyoming. The capital and annual operating monetary requirements are estimated for a 1000 MW, on site, combined-cycle power plant.

The sensitivity of the required selling price of the generated electricity to various price of the generated electricity to various operating parameters such as well spacing, coal seam thickness and depth, and producing rate are presented. The required capital for a 1000 MW plant producing from a 70 ft. thick seam of coal at a depth of 2000 ft. is estimated at $165 million. The annual operating cost of such a plant would be about $13 million and could profitably sell the generated power at 7.5 mils/ profitably sell the generated power at 7.5 mils/ KW-hour.

Introduction

Interest in underground coal gasification as a potential energy source in the nation has increased greatly over the last several years. The reasons for this renewed interest are many. The growing energy demand, the decrease in availability of more conventional energy sources and magnitude of the potential coal resource in this country are but a few of these reasons. It is apparent that underground coal gasification, if feasible, could be a process capable of producing vast quantities of clean fuel particularly suited for use in combined-cycle particularly suited for use in combined-cycle power generation. power generation. The use of combined-cycle power plants fueled by gas generated in surface coal gasification plants has been the topic of several papers in the recent past. Even more recently, several natural gas-fired, combined-cycle plants have been installed, typical of which is a 240 MW plant built for the Public Service Company of Oklahoma near Lawton, Oklahoma. These plants are particularly suited as low in capital cost, low polluting generating stations for supplying intermediate power loads. power loads.

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