Nuclear Power, Carbon Capture Winners in New Budget Deal
Posted February 9, 2018
The budget bill also includes a tax credit for carbon-capture projects, and it has bipartisan support. The provision, known was 45Q, has several co-sponsors including Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.). North Dakota is testing carbon-capture projects at the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota.
Another co-sponsor of the legislation is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican whose state’s economy has long been dependent on coal. Coal-fired generation accounts for about 90% of electricity production in the state.
Only two carbon capture and sequestration power plants are currently in operation worldwide: the Petra Nova plant in Texas, POWER’s Plant of the Year in 2017, and the Boundary Dam plant in Saskatchewan, Canada, near the North Dakota border. Boundary Dam was named POWER’s Plant of the Year in 2015. A third project, at the Kemper County plant in Mississippi, never began commercial operation, as Mississippi Power suspended the gasification process and today operates the plant as a natural gas–fired combined cycle facility.