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Carbon Capture Project

OUC and other local partners have applied for $29 million in funding for a joint DOE demonstration project to study the use of algae for carbon capture, water Algae-Based Project treatment, and as a renewable fuel. As part of the proposal, a one-acre test site would be established at Stanton to grow algae and determine its viability as a method of capturing and “consuming” carbon, which would be extracted from the CO2 in the flue gas emitted from Stanton’s coal-fired generating units. The algae would be sent to a bio-refinery where it will be converted to bio-fuel, pelletized and sent back to SEC as a renewable energy source.

OUC’s plans to participate in a $29 million U.S. Department of Energy joint demonstration project to study the use of algae for carbon capture, water treatment and as a renewable fuel. In addition to OUC and DOE, the joint effort includes five other companies, including SAIC, MSCW and Orlando’s own Aqua Fiber Technologies Corporation. Under the proposal, DOE would provide about 80 percent of the funding and OUC would provide about $360,000, mostly for in‐kind services. As part of the multi‐tiered proposal, a one‐acre algae test site would be established at the Stanton Energy Center to test the viability of algae as a method of capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide gas from the coal‐fired generation units. “This is a great opportunity for a very nominal investment and utilizes a local company,” said City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Partnering with Gainesville Regional Utility and others, OUC is considering investing in the biomass-fueled 100 MW Gainesville Renewable Energy Center. Slated to be complete by 2014, this power plant will offset the use of coal by generating electricity from logging residue, forest thinning and other urban waste vegetation.

Biomass is ideal as a renewable resource in north central Florida, as forestry for paper pulp, chip and saw timber is the principal agricultural industry. The biomass burned in the plant will come from the leftover waste wood of timber harvesting operations and other indirect sources such as urban vegetation management.

The proposed facility will be constructed on GRU’s existing Deer haven Generating Station site, which already includes 421 megawatts (net) of coal and gas-fired steam and combustion turbine units. Nacogdoches will be responsible for fuel acquisition as well as all other operating functions, and GRU will purchase the unit’s output under a long-term purchased power agreement. The new plant is expected to provide economical power as well as environmental and regulatory benefits.