Carbon dioxide removed from the plant’s air emissions at the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center would be moved by pipeline for permanent storage in unmineable coal seams and underground saline formations in the region. Its benefit includes enhanced production of methane, the primary component of natural gas, from the coal seams.

Virginia Tech Foundation has filed a request for the grant on behalf of a project team that also includes Dominion subsidiary Dominion Virginia Power, The Southern States Energy Board, Marshall Miller and Associates, and others. Dominion Virginia Power would lead the carbon-capture portion of the demonstration project. The coalition for the funding has applied with the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory under the federal Recovery Act’s Clean Coal Power Initiative.

The company’s 585MW Virginia City power plant, which is scheduled for completion in 2012, is designed to burn coal, waste coal called “gob” and biomass. It is also designed to be carbon-capture compatible, with space dedicated to install the carbon-capture equipment included at the site. The carbon-capture demonstration equipment is designed to remove approximately 1,500 tons of carbon dioxide each day from the station’s emissions.

David A. Christian, chief executive officer of Dominion Generation, said: “The Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center was designed from the start to minimize its environmental footprint. Beyond that, the project will produce a multi-million-dollar benefit for the economy of Southwest Virginia by creating additional jobs at the station and generating additional state and local tax revenue.”

The demonstration project could result in enhanced coal-bed methane production of an estimated 2.5 billion cubic feet.

Virginia Tech’s VCCER and Marshall Miller and Associates, an engineering firm, would lead the carbon-storage aspect of the project.

The project is designed to reach DOE’s goals, which include proving carbon-capture and storage on a commercial scale and achieving a minimum of 50% carbon-capture efficiency at the lowest possible cost while working toward higher efficiency levels. The carbon-capture facility at Virginia City would account for approximately two-thirds of the demonstration project’s estimated costs. The project is expected to use advanced solvents, known as amines, to remove carbon-dioxide from the power station’s emissions stream and would be designed for a minimum of 90% carbon-capture efficiency.

The construction of the demonstration project is expected to be completed by April 2015, which is subjected to the receipt of approval for funding as well as the necessary company and regulatory approvals. The injection and monitoring phases of the project would run through April 2021.