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Full-Scale CCS Project Put on Hold by AEP

Alston & Bird LLP

By Patrick Greissing, Alston & Bird LLP

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has been deemed a technology that can help fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; however, it has had trouble getting off the ground. The cost of CCS, legal issues, lack of state and federal policy and lack of knowledge among the general public about the technology has prevented corporations from moving forward with it. Now a major corporation has pulled the plug, at least temporarily, on a full-scale project.

American Electric Power Co. announced it was postponing its plans for a CCS commercial-scale project at its Mountaineer Power Plant in New Haven, West Virginia.  Michael Morris, president and CEO of AEP, said, "We are placing the project on hold until economic and policy conditions create a viable path forward." Half of the $668 million project was going to be paid for by the Department of Energy.  Morris went on to say in the press release, "With the help of Alstom, the Department of Energy and other partners, we have advanced CCS technology more than any other power generator with our successful two-year project to validate the technology. But, at this time, it doesn't make economic sense to continue work on the commercial-scale CCS project beyond the current engineering phase."

When/if the policy issues that concern AEP are resolved, it will be interesting to see if they will pick up the project where it was put on hold. Due to the current divide in Congress, those policy issues being resolved any time soon appears to be doubtful.

Read more at the Climate Change and Carbon Management Blog by Alston & Bird LLP.

The Climate Change and Carbon Management Blog is a 2011 LexisNexis Top 50 Blogs for Environmental Law & Climate Change winner.

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