DOE passes on Uintah Basin clean coal project

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SOUTH JORDAN, Utah | The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that a clean coal project, which was proposed by Deseret Power, will not be selected to receive any funding under the latest clean energy initiative program.
The department has instead targeted coal projects in Alabama, West Virginia and Texas to receive nearly $1 billion in grants to help promote new technology for reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired resources.
Deseret had teamed with a U.S. subsidiary of a Norwegian company to design a prototype power plant that could capture and store carbon emissions using new technology in the combustion process.
Deseret had requested that the project, which was to have been built on a portion of the Bonanza Power Plant site, be partially financed with government funding to offset the high costs of developing the new technology and testing the feasibility of carbon capture. Without the addition of government funds, the investment to capture and transport the carbon emissions is probably not economically or commercially viable.
Deseret has applied for pre-construction permits to build additional generating capacity at the Bonanza Plant site — those permits remain subject to ongoing review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to Kimball Rasmussen, Deseret’s CEO, “by applying for the DOE grant, we had hoped to simplify the issue of carbon emissions from the proposed plant expansion. Without some source of additional funding, however, the project cannot proceed as a fully carbon-captured facility. Like virtually every other coal-based resource, the future of our project faces significant regulatory and financing uncertainty. Especially given the regulatory environment that exists today, we are working very hard to overcome the challenges facing our company and still continue to deliver the affordable, reliable supply of abundant energy that our American economy needs.”
Deseret Power is a member-owned cooperative providing electric power to six rural electric cooperatives in Utah and surrounding states. Moon Lake Electric Association in Rangely is a member of Deseret.