RICHLAND, Wash., Aug. 20, 2001 — The Department of Energy has agreed to allow Composite Power Corporation to explore the potential for utilizing two retired facilities at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State to demonstrate new clean coal technology.
The goal is to determine if two surplus coal-fired steam generation facilities can be used to demonstrate an advanced process for reducing flue gas emissions, a fundamental improvement that could greatly enhance the viability of bringing more electrical power generation capability on-line for energy users.
In the first phase of the project Composite Power will work with the Department of Energy’s Richland Operations Office to determine if the steam generation facilities in Hanford’s 200 East Area and 300 Area can support a clean-coal test program and assess what will have to be done in order to refurbish the facilities and meet all applicable requirements.
The facilities, shut down for the past five years, represent a major asset that could be put to use to help solve a major issue that is contributing to the ongoing energy crisis facing utilities in the Northwest and other parts of the nation. Current emissions standards prevent utilities from producing full power from existing coal-fired generation plants in order to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions criteria for plant operations.
“If this project goes forward it has potential to contribute in a major way to the future needs of the nation’s energy infrastructure,” said Robert M. Rosselli, Deputy Manager for Business Systems for the Richland Operations Office. “It also has the potential to add to economic growth and stability in the Tri-Cities region.”
Roger McCombs, CEO of Composite Power, said, “The fact that Department of Energy officials have had the forethought to allow us to evaluate these facilities for future use is wonderful and important to the development of new technologies. We’re anxious to finish the assessment and are optimistic that the outcome will be to everyone’s advantage.”
McCombs added that new clean coal technology is overdue.
“Over a long period of time coal-fired energy generation has suffered because it has not kept up with emerging environmental protection requirements. This project has the ability of make an immediate difference in affordable clean energy,” McCombs said.
The assessment of the retired facilities at Hanford is expected to take about thirty days.