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NRG plans small electricity generation project

NRG Energy, the second-largest power generator in Texas, said today it will build a 75-megawatt gas-fired plant that will feed electricity to the state's biggest grid in peak demand periods for about two years. After that it will power a CO2 capture project at a coal-fired plant south of Houston around 2015. NRG said the new facility, a combustion turbine that can ramp up in minutes, could come online next summer. It's expected to operate about two years as what's called a "peaking" unit -- one that only fires up at times of high electricity demand. That could help the state maintain power reserves when capacity is expected to be tight starting in 2014. By 2015, however, the unit is then expected to provide the energy to recover carbon dioxide from the flue of NRG's big WA Parish power plant. That CO2 will then be piped to oilfields and injected into producing formations to boost crude oil recovery as well as sequester the CO2, a greenhouse gas. The CO2 recovery project is partly funded by the Department of Energy.

-- Jim Fuquay


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