CHEYENNE, Wyo. –  The U.S. Department of Energy has completed a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) study for several Wyoming coal-fueled power plants. The study showed CCUS retrofits can provide significant benefits. The goal of the study was to evaluate the potential opportunities for retrofitting existing power plants with CCUS technology, the economic impact, and the carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions reductions for the State of Wyoming compared to alternatives. Governor Mark Gordon requested the study.

“We are in a critical time for energy policy and production. Wyoming can help lead in developing and supporting advances that boost our coal industry and reduce carbon emissions. The Department of Energy is also providing key leadership: this study is an example of a partnership everyone can support. It moves Wyoming and the nation ahead,” Governor Gordon said.

“The Department of Energy has invested hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars to advance CCUS technologies and to drive down the cost of deployment,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes. “This study shows that through innovative technologies, like CCUS, we can develop affordable energy more cleanly, and clean energy more affordably, providing a vision for the future of fossil energy. Electricity generated from fossil fuels that is reliable, cost effective and nearly zero CO2 emissions is in the best interest of Wyoming and the country. I applaud Governor Gordon’s vision and value Wyoming’s leadership in CCUS.”

DOE’s partnership with the State of Wyoming was led by Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy Steve Winberg.

“Given recent events in California, this timely report demonstrates the need for clean, reliable fossil fuel baseload generation. Aggressive CCUS initiatives could establish Wyoming as a world leader in that technology. That effort would pay large and
increasing dividends to the state as CCUS becomes one of the dominant economic and energy technologies of the 21st century. Governor Gordon’s leadership is providing a model for others to follow,” Winberg said.

The study compared CCUS use to an alternative case in the most recent PacifiCorp 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP). The results showed CCUS retrofits provided the following potential benefits:

  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 37% (100 million metric tons) more than the 2019 IRP preferred portfolio (henceforth referred to as Baseline IRP),
  • Produced avoided costs for CO 2 emissions that are $24 per ton ($21.5/metric ton) less expensive than the Baseline IRP,
  • Reduced the amount ratepayers could pay by approximately 10% less per month than the Baseline IRP,
  • Lifted Wyoming employment benefits up to 5 times higher than employment benefits from implementing the Baseline IRP,
  • Produced higher local and state revenue from property, sale, severance, and other associated coal taxes as well as higher federal royalty payments.

The study team was led by Leonardo Technologies Inc., with financial and technical support from the US Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy with technical contributions from the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Management Information Services Inc., the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources’ (SER) Center for Economic Geology Research, and the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute. The study considered the retrofit of nine units at four power plants in Wyoming owned by Rocky Mountain Power.

“I thank Secretary Brouilette, his team and the many other contributors to the Wyoming CCUS study. This thorough work provides a valuable analysis of the potential of C02 capture and use in Wyoming. It complements the passage of HB 200 by the Wyoming Legislature. That legislation provides incentives for companies to invest in Wyoming coal and coal-fired units as a continued source of energy, while reducing C02 emissions. Wyoming stands ready to embrace those challenges and continue to provide energy to the US,” Governor Gordon said.

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