Power plants equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies can reduce the cost of net-zero carbon systems, but the addition of variable renewable energy (VRE) sources like wind and solar can make them difficult to design and operate while limiting their commercial potential. Increased cyclic operation of electricity generators could also reduce capacity factor and efficiency, increase operations and maintenance costs, and potentially increase CO2 emissions. Improving CCS processes and designs could enable a low-cost, net-zero carbon electricity system.
Project Innovation + Advantages:
RTI International will develop a cost-effective, resilient, load-following advanced CO2 capture technology for natural gas power plants. The team's CO2 capture process will maximize the net present value of the of the electricity sale by minimizing the levelized cost of electricity under dynamic plant loads and high VRE environments. The two key innovations proposed are the use of plant by using advanced water-lean solvents (WLSs) and process intensification equipment, such as a rotating packed bed (RPB) centrifugal absorber and dual-stage flash solvent regeneration. Advanced WLSs decrease operating costs by requiring low energy for solvent regeneration. RPBs reduce power plant capital cost by intensifying the absorption process to enable a reduced absorber size compared to conventional packed beds. The dual-stage flash regenerator will improve flexibility and reduce capital cost compared to a conventional reboiler.
Improvements in the design and processes of CCS-equipped plants in high VRE environments could dramatically reduce the cost of a net-zero carbon system. Benefits include:
Flexible CCS systems can enable the continued use of low-cost domestic fuel for electricity generation and increase the reliability of a deeply decarbonized electricity system.
Flexible CCS systems can achieve high CO2 capture rates from flue gas. Enabling deep turndown of natural-gas fired plants at times of high VRE output will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Flexible CCS systems can reduce the cost of a net-zero carbon electricity system by providing dispatchable power to a high-VRE grid.