The Intermountain Power Authority (IPA) turned down an offer from Enchant Energy, a New Mexico company, to buy its coal fired power plant in Utah and retrofit it with carbon capture technology.
The New Mexico company has been on the lookout for opportunities to use its carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, but has faced difficulties so far.
One such difficulty is the affordability of CCS, as, for one, carbon capture requires more water than the production of electricity from burning coal.
And cost is indeed believed to be one of the main downsides of carbon capture, even among the proponents of the climate solution.
Enchant Energy’s bid to buy and equip the coal power plant with carbon capture in Utah, which was coupled with an offer to gain representation on IPA’s board, was rejected in November 2022.
IPA intends to shut down the coal-fired power plant in 2025, and in its place, it plans to open a natural gas- and hydrogen-fueled plant.
Enchant’s proposal was rejected with the reasoning that it was ‘not beneficial to the interests of IPA’.
The company was faced with a similar response last month, when it ended its efforts to purchase another coal-fired power plant in the Four Corners area.
The San Juan Generation Station was shut down this year and Enchant offered to keep the power plant going after installing its carbon capture technology, but was also turned down.
The proposal was met by support from only one of the plant’s owners, the City of Farmington, N.M., with the idea of keeping the jobs.
But at the end and after a legal battle, the decision was made to decommission the plant.
“We are very saddened by the need to terminate the project that would have brought so many benefits to the City of Farmington, energy workers in the region and customers who would have benefited from the reliable low carbon electricity,” Cindy Crane, CEO of Enchant Energy, said in a statement.