GE technology picked for Southern California IGCC project

Atlanta, October 30, 2009 – GE Energy signed a technology licensing agreement with Hydrogen Energy for a proposed 250-MW power plant that would use integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) technology.

The plant, to be located near Bakersfield, in Kern County, Calif., would be designed to capture up to 90 percent of its carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration in an adjacent oil field.

HEI is a joint venture of BP Alternative Energy and multinational mining company Rio Tinto Hydrogen.

In 2007, GE and BP formed a global alliance to jointly develop and deploy technology for at least five IGCC power plants that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation. The Hydrogen Energy California County project would be the first power plant built under that alliance.

The IGCC technology converts solid fuels, such as coal, into a cleaner burning hydrogen-rich fuel, which then is used by a gas turbine combined-cycle system to generate electricity, providing a cleaner, economical coal-to-power option.

IGCC also reduces criteria emissions – sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, mercury and particulate matter – and decreases water consumption by up to 30 percent (as compared to a conventional coal plant).

The technology proposed for the Hydrogen Energy California plant would convert petroleum coke, coal or a combination of each into a synthesis gas (syngas).

Chemical scrubbers would filter out pollutants and would separate carbon dioxide, leaving a hydrogen-rich fuel to power the gas turbine combined-cycle system. The carbon captured from the plant would be piped to an adjacent oil field, where it would be used for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration operations.

GE technology was involved in several projects, including the pilot IGCC plant, Coolwater, in Barstow, Calif., and the Polk Tampa Electric IGCC plant in Florida, which helped demonstrate the commercial feasibility of IGCC.

GE also is supplying IGCC technology for Duke Energy’s plant in Edwardsport, Ind., that is expected to reach commercial operation in 2012.

There are nearly 70 GE-licensed gasification facilities operating around the world today and about 40 of these plants use commercial technology to separate carbon.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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