The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed a carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) study for several Wyoming coal-fueled power plants. The study showed CCUS retrofits can provide significant benefits. The goal of the study was to evaluate the potential opportunities for retrofitting existing power plants with CCUS technology, the economic impact, and the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions for the state of Wyoming compared to alternatives. Governor Mark Gordon requested the study.

“We are in a critical time for energy policy and production,” Gov. Gordon said. “Wyoming can help lead in developing and supporting advances that boost our coal industry and reduce carbon emissions.”

The study compared CCUS use to an alternative case in the most recent PacifiCorp 2019 integrated resource plan (IRP). The results showed CCUS retrofits provided the following potential benefits: reduced CO2 emissions by 37% (100 million metric tons) more than the 2019 IRP preferred portfolio (henceforth referred to as Baseline IRP); produced avoided costs for CO2 emissions that are $24 per ton ($21.5/metric ton) less expensive than the Baseline IRP; reduced the amount ratepayers could pay by approximately 10% less per month than the Baseline IRP; lifted Wyoming employment benefits up to five times higher than employment benefits from implementing the Baseline IRP.

The study team was led by Leonardo Technologies Inc., with financial and technical support from the DOE, Office of Fossil Energy with technical contributions from the National Energy Technology Laboratory, Management Information Services Inc., the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources’ (SER) Center for Economic Geology Research, and the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute. The study considered the retrofit of nine units at four power plants in Wyoming owned by Rocky Mountain Power.