Under the agreement, which will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Southern Company will test both pre- and post-combustion carbon-capture technologies, as well as materials and processes that support advanced fossil-fuel conversion systems, primarily coal gasification.
In particular, the agreement stipulates that the following efforts shall be undertaken at the NCCC:
– Demonstrating integrated coal-based energy technology for plants with clean coal technology, including CO2 capture.
– Developing technologies that will subsequently be scaled directly to commercial-sized equipment and/or integrated with commercial projects, including those under DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative.
– Advancing lower-cost technologies to capture CO2 while enabling affordable, reliable, and clean coal-based power generation for years to come.
The NCCC has been operating since 2009, when it was established by Southern Company at the Power Systems Development Facility under an earlier cooperative agreement with DOE. The NCCC is equipped to test multiple slipstreams from diverse fuel sources simultaneously under commercial conditions. At the NCCC, Southern Company will identify and test promising technologies from third-party developers from around the world, including government entities, industry, and universities.
The new cooperative agreement gives the NCCC the means to provide services and infrastructure that will enable it to become a cornerstone for U.S. leadership in advanced coal technology development. Technologies tested and demonstrated at the NCCC could accelerate the development and improve the performance of cost-effective carbon-capture and gasification technologies.
The total award value is EUR 140 million. DOE will contribute EUR 110 million, with Southern Company adding EUR 30 million in cost-sharing.