25 Megawatt Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration
Advancing Alabama's Reputation and Economy
Inducted in 2013
Located at Plant Barry near Mobile, Ala., 25 Megawatt Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration is the world’s largest fully integrated coal-fired carbon capture and sequestration facility. The project uses groundbreaking technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The CO2 capture project at Plant Barry, owned by Southern Company subsidiary Alabama Power, is designed to capture more than 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually with a capture rate of more than 90 percent. Launched in August 2011, the operation demonstrates electric utilities using coal to generate electricity with a much smaller impact on the environment.
Construction of the project was equally as distinguished. In an effort to lower construction risk and increase efficiency, the project used a modular construction strategy, building the facility off-site using smaller pieces. Alabama’s Black Warrior River was used to transport the modules to the plant. The carbon capture operation resides on a 1-acre site with more than 35,000 feet of pipe.
Carbon dioxide is captured using the KM CDR Process® capture technology, developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. The carbon from a 25-megawatt slip of flue gas reacts with an amine solvent before being captured, isolated and compressed into a liquid, preparing it for pipeline transport.
Captured carbon dioxide is supplied from the plant to the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership. They transport the carbon by pipeline and inject it 9,500 feet underground at a site within the Citronelle Oil Field. Operated by Denbury Resources, the site is located 11 miles from the plant. The carbon dioxide remains below the surface, permanently stored in a deep saline geologic formation.
In 2010, Southern Company started a test of capturing carbon dioxide from Plant Yates, one of its subsidiary power plants. The pilot-scale project at Plant Yates provided additional process improvements before the technology was demonstrated at the larger 25-megawatt scale at Plant Barry.
Carbon injection will take place over two years at a rate of up to 550 tons per day. Several monitoring technologies are in place to track the injected CO2, measure the pressure front, evaluate trapping mechanisms and ensure the carbon dioxide remains in the formation. Injection operations are slated to end in 2014. The site will be closed in 2017 following three years of post-injection monitoring. The project is an initiative associated with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Phase III program.
A potential follow-up project would leverage the investment at Plant Barry and Citronelle for enhanced oil recovery. In the recovery process, the carbon behaves like a gas and a fluid and is pumped into deeper mineral formulations to drive out oil. This will minimize the need for new drilling on protected lands, while reducing global warming pollution by sequestering large amounts of industrial-produced carbon dioxide underground.
Partners of Plant Barry include Southern Company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., U.S. Department of Energy, Denbury Resources, Electric Power Research Institute, Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, Burlington Northern, Parker Towing, Norfolk Southern, Southern Natural Gas and National Energy Technology Laboratory.