NRECA to develop new laboratory for eco-friendly coal-firing processes

Published on May 02, 2016 by Jessica Limardo

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) announced on Wednesday that it would join public and private partners for the development of an industrial-scale laboratory that will attempt to develop more eco-friendly coal-firing methodologies.

“The Integrated Test Center is a shining example of how America’s electric cooperatives are pushing the boundaries of innovation,” NRECA VP of Business and Technology Strategies Jim Spiers said. “From distributed generation and renewable energy to cyber security and carbon capture, co-ops are collaborating with public and private interests to meet the needs of their member-consumers and increase economic prosperity in their communities.”

The Integrated Test Center will be located in Gillette, Wyoming. The station will allow researchers to experiment with the capture, utilization and sequestration of carbon, in the hopes of creating better processes for removing carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants.

The center will be owned and operated by the Basin Electric Power Cooperative, and was funded by the contributions of several stakeholders, including a $1 million contribution from NRECA, a $15 million contribution from the state of Wyoming, and a $5 million contribution from Tristate Generation and Transmission Association. The facility will also host the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a competition to develop the most innovative coal-based flue gas technology.

The facility is expected to be complete by summer 2017.