An alliance of Alstom, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and We Energies is to build a pilot plant to demonstrate a 5 MW carbon dioxide (CO2) capture process from a portion of the boiler flue gas.

Alstom will design, construct and operate the plant at the We Energies facility in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, the first of its kind in the US.

The pilot, which will use an ammonia-based carbon capture processes developed by Alstom, is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2007 and will be operated for at least one year. EPRI will conduct an engineering/environmental performance and cost analysis during the operation.

“The development of cost-effective carbon dioxide capture technology is one of the most important environmental challenges facing the utility industry in the 21st Century,” said Rick Kuester, executive vice president of We Energies.

EPRI vice president of generation Chris Larsen commented: “Evaluating and developing technology for economical post-combustion CO2 capture is critical to ensure that we keep coal as a viable electricity generation option. Nineteen other utilities, which represent a large portion of the coal-burning utilities in the United States, have committed to support this project and we hope the results from the analysis will encourage additional participation.”

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