The Department of Energy announced Tuesday that $450 million in federal funding has been approved to help build the Texas Clean Energy Project, a major hurdle in getting the project, developed by Summit Power Group, off the ground.
The issuance of what the DOE calls a “record of decision,” is a major milestone in getting the project to the launch pad, said Laura Miller, project manager for Summit Texas.
“We have been waiting for this day for two years - it is a huge milestone for the project,” Miller said. “We had our weekly phone call with the DOE today and we thanked them - we are very excited about this development.”
The approval will allow federal funding to be used to help build one of the world’s most advanced and environmentally clean coal-based power plants, officials at the DOE said in a Tuesday news release.
The $2.2 to $2.5 billion Texas Clean Energy Project is to be located in Penwell, 15 miles west of Odessa. During construction, the energy plant is set to create 2,000 jobs with about 200 permanent jobs created once the project is completed. The $450 million grant comprises about 19 percent of the total cost, Miller said. The other funds will come from private investors and banks, she said.
“This project is a major homerun for Odessa and Ector County,” said Guy Andrews, director of the Odessa Development Corporation. “The DOE considers this it’s most important project, and has provided the largest amount of funding this year to the Texas Clean Energy Project.”
Officials at the Odessa Chamber of Commerce were equally pleased with the news.
“This is a tremendous step in the process going to construction for this project,” and we are very pleased that this announcement was made,” said Mike George, president and CEO of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to the only power plant ever to capture 90 plus percent of its emissions right here in Ector County.”
The 400-megawatt plant is designed to capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide it produces. Summit plans to sell the CO2 as enhanced oil-recovery, which will help companies bring more oil out of the ground. The plant will also produce and sell electricity and fertilizer.
The coal gasification plant will create three sellable by-products for Summit including electricity, CO2 and fertilizer or urea. And so far, Summit is on track to sell all three by-products.
The record of decision and cooperative agreement between DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and Summit Texas Clean Energy, sets in motion continued federal cost-shared funding for the the project. This 400-megawatt, first-of-a-kind facility combines integrated gasification combined-cycle power generation, urea production, and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technology.
The project, managed by FE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, will be partially funded with $450 million from DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative. Of this, $211 million will come from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, a DOE news release stated.
"The integration of carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies planned for this flagship project are vitally important to America and the world," said Chuck McConnell, FE’s Chief Operating Officer. "The Texas Clean Energy Project is a significant step forward that demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to developing clean energy technologies, creating jobs, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases."