Sithe Seeks Grant for Desert Rock Carbon Sequestration
Sithe Global Power LLC has applied for a Department of Energy grant under the CCPI 3 program to implement carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology at its Desert Rock Energy Project, a proposed coal-fired power plant to be constructed on Navajo Nation territory in New Mexico.
The CCPI program was established to accelerate the adoption of CCS technology and to use manufacturing know-how gained from these initial projects to increase efficiency and reduce the cost of CCS, thereby proving the commercial viability of the technology and its efficacy in both new and existing power generation facilities. Sithe's affiliate, Desert Rock Energy, is the developer of the New Mexico project.
Desert Rock was already designed as an ultra super-critical facility, incorporating the most efficient proven environmental technology for the removal of pollutants, such as reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 98 percent, nitrous oxide (NOx) by 95 percent and mercury by over 90 percent. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to Sithe, acknowledged that the Desert Rock facility would have been "one of the cleanest pulverized coal-burning power plants in the country." However, Sithe has now chosen to further reduce the pollutants produced by the facility through the incorporation of the latest CCS technology into the project. Desert Rock is an ideal candidate for CCS technology as the site is located in close proximity to an existing pipeline used to transport carbon dioxide from Colorado to West Texas to increase oil production from mature fields.
President Shirley of the Navajo Nation states, "The completion of Desert Rock remains critical to the economic development of the Navajo Nation. It now serves as a milestone project for the power industry, while showing the strong commitment of the Navajo Nation to preserve our environment." Power generated from Desert Rock will now meet the requirements to qualify for renewable energy credits, and may be sold into all Western power markets, thereby mitigating the risk of future power shortages.
Bruce Wrobel, Sithe's chief executive officer, said "Sithe's management and our majority shareholder, Blackstone, pursue each of its power development projects in an environmentally responsible manner. We take into account the needs of the local community as well as the applicable environmental regulations with an eye toward developing facilities that address those needs and provide power safely and efficiently, while earning an economic return for our investors. With the continued support of the local community and the DOE, Sithe believes that, upon its completion, Desert Rock will be one of the first commercial-scale examples of clean-coal technology in America and will provide a benchmark for future development projects."
Sithe Global is a privately held international independent power development company that focuses on certain target markets in North America, Europe, Mexico, Africa and the Middle East.