NYS grants $6 million to "first in the world" oxy-coal project

Catharine Young

August 01, 2008

Governor David A. Paterson today visited Chautauqua County in Western New York to announce State support for an advanced coal power plant in Jamestown. Advanced coal technology could represent the next major step in addressing global climate change while also helping to diversify the state’s energy supply and create “clean-tech” jobs Upstate.

The plant – which would be the first of its kind in the world – will serve as a demonstration facility for a promising new technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) and sequesters it underground for permanent storage. This research holds the potential to give New York firms the ability to launch exports of advanced coal technology to the rest of the world.

New York State is spearheading the project to determine if carbon capture and sequestration (“CCS”) is viable, providing another example of New York’s leadership in responding to both the growing energy needs and the threat of global climate change. If sequestration works in New York’s geology, CCS technology could help New York meet its own energy needs using a domestic fuel, and spur economic development and clean tech jobs, particularly Upstate where leading companies of CCS technology reside and where the geology is considered favorable for sequestration.

The research on advanced coal will be conducted by the Oxy-Coal Alliance, which is made up of: Praxair, Dresser-Rand, E&E, Ecology and Environment, Foster Wheeler, Battelle Labs, SUNY Buffalo and AES Corporation. Following the Oxy-Coal Alliance's research, the group will apply for a federal grant to continue research and development of the proposed Jamestown power plant. Grant notification is expected by the middle of 2009.

If coal can be used in a way that reduces adverse environmental impacts – which is the promise of advanced coal technology combined with CCS – then the State can reap the energy benefits of coal and avoid many of the environmental risks.

The new strategy for advanced coal development includes:

•Qualified financial support of up to $6 million for the “New York Oxy-Coal Alliance” – an advanced coal demonstration
project involving CCS capability in Jamestown.

•The formation of a Carbon Capture and Sequestration Working Group.

•Research and development funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The new initiative is detailed in the attached fact sheet.

Senator Catharine Young said: “This clean oxy-coal plant could very well turn out to be Western New York's most significant economic breakthrough in decades. This first-ever oxy-coal plant will protect Jamestown's existing manufacturing jobs by preserving reliable, low-cost energy. It will generate hundreds, if not eventually thousands, of new, good-paying jobs in high tech, manufacturing and construction. And most importantly, it will give the people of Jamestown cleaner air to breathe. I can't think of a smarter investment in our future. Governor Paterson has clearly demonstrated his commitment to revitalizing our upstate economy by advancing this project.”

By helping to develop technologies that can be deployed in developing countries like China, New York can have a significant impact in mitigating global climate change, while creating jobs at home and fostering the export of technology to the rest of the world.

New York is the lead state in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation’s first viable carbon cap-and-trade system, already making it a global leader in carbon market development. New York is also a leader in renewable energy production with a Renewable Portfolio Standard that ensures New Yorkers will obtain 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2013. Furthermore, with New York’s “15 by 15” initiative – the nation’s most aggressive energy efficiency goal which calls for a 15% reduction in energy use below projected levels by 2015 – New York is a national leader in energy efficiency.