a completely uneconomic plan given the super-high cost of producing thispower vs. likely market prices for electricity.
In 2009 the federal government’s Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Coal Power
I) twice rejected the JBPU’s funding application for this project.
Then, inearly 2010 the DOE announced funding recipients of its industrial CCS program and theJBPU was not among them.
Clearly, the JBPU’s
funding applications have not beencompetitive with other CCS demonstration project funding candidates.
Until recently, the DOE has not funded any oxycoal CCS demonstration projects. OnAugust 5, 2010, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that FutureGen 2.0 will involverepowering a 200 MW existing coal plant inMeredosia, Illinois
making clear the
DOE’s preference for demonstrating this technology on a larger, existing coal plant.
Even if future federal funding did become available to build this project
and it isdoubtful it will be
in addition to the $145 million the JBPU would need from itsratepayers the JBPU probably would need $100 million from the New York State in orderto meet federal funding matching dollar requirements. NYS
budget crisis guaranteesthat these funds will not be available.
Even assuming the impossible, i.e. that all CCS construction and demonstration costs forthis project were covered by others, JBPU ratepayers would still experience much higher
electric rates for years to come because of the plant’s very high operating costs over its
50 to 60 year lifespan coupled with the huge losses the JBPU would experience trying tosell power from the new plant on the open market.
Without on-going life-of-the-plant federal or state funding (both unlikely in the extreme),the JBPU would face severe economic pressure to abandon a high rate of CCS as soon asthe
DOE’s three year
demonstration period was over in order to reduce operating costsand minimize expected dollar losses. Thus, carbon dioxide emissions levels for most of the plant lifespan would be much higher than promised and much higher than the nearzero emissions which could be achieved by an energy plan more reliant on energyefficiency.
Enabling legislation for this project failed to pass in the state legislature for twosuccessive years (2009 and 2010).
The proposed state enabling legislation did not address the critical CCS liability issue.So, even if the enabling legislation had been passed, the JBPU would have remainedliable for all risks associated with the CCS component of the project, thereby potentiallyraising the costs of this plant to unforeseen even more astronomical levels.
JBPU test drilling failed to find suitable geological reservoirs in which to bury CO
fromthe proposed new Jamestown coal plant.
Key initial project partners -- Praxair, Inc. and the University of Buffalo
withdrew fromthe project team in 2009 on the eve of consideration of the project application by thefederal government, and comparable new partners have never been found.
Even the continued operation of the existing Carlson plant has recently been called intoquestion. On January 24, 2011, the New York State Public Service Commission, in itsdecision in a National Grid matter, required National Grid to conduct a study todetermine what must be done vis-à-vis the JBPU
s connection with the National Grid-operated regional grid to
“enable the potent
ial retirement of the Jamestown coal-fired