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NET Power Build Zero-Carbon Gas Plants!

NET Power, a utility set up in 2010, is building zero-carbon natural gas-fired power plants in the United States and abroad and plans on making them cheap enough in the future to compete with traditional fossil fuel power plants.

Forbes’s Jeff McMachon reports that the company revealed its multiple projects, which involve carbon capture, at a workshop organized by the National Laboratories of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

“We have multiple 300MW-scale commercial projects in development,” Adam Goff, a senior executive at NET Power’s parent company, 8 Rivers Capital, said. “None of them are announced yet, but we’ve got a couple in the U.S. and then some in Canada, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Europe—the regions of the world where we have interest in developing these projects.”

According to its website, NET Power generates cheaper electricity than traditional fossil fuel-powered facilities by utilizing a proprietary thermodynamic cycle called the Allam Cycle. The cycle, the company said, allows for the elimination of all emissions, including those of carbon dioxide.

Any carbon dioxide produced in the process of burning the natural gas to power the turbines is in the form of a “high-pressure, high-quality byproduct, ready for pipeline transportation and storage.” Moreover, the company uses this high-pressure CO2 instead of the heat used in traditional power plants to spin the turbine.

NET Power made headlines last year when it revealed its 50-MW demonstration plant in Texas, saying at the time that its generation cycle solves the ultimate problem of carbon capture technology: the decline in efficiency of the facility where this carbon is captured.

Now, the company has ambitious plans and they will start in the U.S.: “We see the U.S. as a launching pad where 45Q makes it the best place to launch projects,” Goff said at the workshop. The 45Q tax incentive gives a US$50 tax credit per every ton of sequestered CO2.

Going forward, however, these plants will be built all around the world with a focus on Asia and Africa.

“But over the long run, most of your projects aren’t going to be in the U.S. They’re going to be in your developing countries in Asia and in Africa, so you’re going to see China, India, Indonesia. To do that you have to be really cheap. You have to be at cost parity if not better than cost parity with conventional generation,” Goff also said.

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