We got our loan!

The United States Department of Agriculture announced up to a $300 million loan to Basin Electric Power Cooperative for a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture project.

Ed Schafer, USDA

Ed Schafer, USDA

USDA Secretary Ed Schafer: “Clean, efficient coal fired generating plants are an important component in America’s efforts to achieve energy independence.”

Right now, technology is being tested to capture carbon dioxide off an operating coal-based power plant, on a pilot basis. Based on results of those tests, would be expanded to a demonstration project at the Antelope Valley Station near Beulah, ND.

Why this loan is important:
1) It helps to keep consumer costs affordable by providing low-cost funding.
2) It helps for the continuing development of clean-coal technologies.
3) It sets an example for other federal agencies to emulate.

Ron Harper, BEPC

Ron Harper, BEPC

Ron Harper, Basin Electric CEO and general manager: “This loan will continue to make coal an integral part of Basin Electric’s and this country’s energy future.”

By the way…
A commercially viable technology for CO2 capture from conventional coal-based plants isn’t yet available. Basin Electric is working very hard in the development and demonstration of carbon capture technology. “Our demonstration project has the potential to not only create a viable path for coal in our nation’s energy future, but it could position the United States as a model for other countries to emulate,” Harper said. “The conundrum for us lies in paying for the technology and research necessary to do this work, while keeping electricity affordable for our member-owners. This is why the assistance and commitment from USDA is critically important for us and our member consumers.”

The Antelope Valley Station is located adjacent to the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the United States and home to the largest carbon capture project in the world. More than three million tons of CO2 are captured annually and piped to Canada for use in enhanced oil recovery. The demonstration project being developed at Antelope Valley would capture about a million tons of CO2 per year from a portion of the plant’s exhaust stream and send it to oil fields along the pipeline being used by the Synfuels Plant.

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