West Virginia set to build $3B natural gas, carbon capture plant

Dive Brief:

  • Competitive Power Ventures is set to build an approximately 1,800-megawatt natural gas power station with carbon capture and storage capabilities in West Virginia at the cost of $3 billion, the Silver Spring, Maryland-based company announced in a press release on Sept. 16. The exact location is yet to be determined.
  • The project will create jobs for 1,000 local tradesworkers, according to CPV. These roles will abide by prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements from the Inflation Reduction Act, which is partially financing the project.  
  • The energy from the new plant will feed the nation’s biggest electric grid, PJM Interconnection, which serves 13 states and Washington, D.C., according to AP News. The company said the plant will go into operation later this decade.

Dive Insight:

Competitive Power Ventures said in the release that the project was made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, which expanded the 45Q federal tax credit for carbon capture and sequestration for power generation projects. Earlier this year, West Virginia established a legal framework and pilot program to encourage carbon capture and sequestration technologies in the state. These two pieces of legislation made West Virginia an ideal location for this investment, the company said.

It will be the state’s first combined-cycle energy plant, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said at a press conference about the project.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is already having a positive impact for the people of West Virginia and carbon capture utilization efforts here in the United States,” Manchin said in a press release. “I’m pleased Competitive Power Ventures is investing in the Mountain State and look forward to seeing the benefits of this investment — including long-term, good-paying jobs and supporting our regional economies — for years to come.”

The plant’s carbon capture system would remove 90 to 95% of the carbon dioxide from its waste stream, West Virginia Public Broadcasting reported. The regulatory approval process has been started, according to the company, and a firm timeline for commercial operations will be announced once it is complete.

While this natural gas plant is only one of a handful worldwide aiming to incorporate carbon sequestration, that capability is increasingly in demand. Several companies across the U.S. are planning to outfit natural gas power plants with carbon capture, a database maintained by the environmental group Clean Air Task Force shows, especially in Texas and Iowa.

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