U.S. power generation company Calpine has inaugurated a $25-million carbon capture pilot project at its Los Medanos Energy Center in Pittsburg, NBC Bay Area reported following the ribbon-cutting ceremony that took place Friday.
With the 18-month pilot, called Project Enterprise and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the company aims to capture 95% of all carbon emissions at the plant and store it underground.
The technology, developed by Colorado-based ION Clean Energy, will capture about 10 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per day, Calpine’s CEO, Thad Hill, was quoted as saying by NBC.
According to experts and state leaders at Friday’s event, if the pilot goes as planned, such projects could be a gamechanger in the fight against climate change on the local level.
As the nation’s largest generator of electricity from natural gas, Calpine is considered a perfect testing ground for this technology.
During the pilot, the partners are looking to collect empirical data on the performance of the technology and evaluate the possibility of rolling it out to larger power plants in the near future, according to Jennifer Atcheson, Vice President of Operations at ION Clean Energy.
The pilot is also expected to create a blueprint for similar carbon capture projects across the country.
The ultimate goal is to reliably use carbon capture technology at natural gas power plants, which make up the largest portion of the country’s electricity generation, Roger Aines, senior advisor for CO2 removal at DOE, was quoted as saying at Friday’s event.