• New Mexico coal-fired plant might become CCUS-equipped

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The Washington Post has reported on the possibility of the coal-fired, 847 MW, San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico being retrofitted with a carbon capture facility to extend its operating life. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Mark Menezes visited the state recently to talk about the potential US$1.4 billion (€1.19 billion) project, saying that “rather than driving out fuels that produce emissions, we drove emissions down while producing from these same fuels. We want to build on that amazing process…CCUS is an incredible example of innovation, one that has the potential to drive emissions down to zero, making fossil fuels as emission-free as renewables.” Currently, the plant is due for closure in 2022, but a carbon capture installation that reduces CO2 emissions by 90% would mean the state could continue to allow the plant to operate while remaining on track to becoming net-zero by 2045. That depends, however, on the financing being found, with Enchant Energy and the city of Farmington looking to buy the plant from the Public Service Co. of New Mexico and the other owners in order to upgrade it. Enhanced oil recovery would potentially cover some of the costs, as would federal tax credits, and it seems the project has broad political support because of the employment it provides in the area.