Proposed "clean coal" plant at Penwell passes major Texas regulation test, Omaha is aproaching

A proposed $2.2 billion „clean coal” plant in West Texas has leapt a major regulatory hurdle, receiving approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for an air-quality permit.

Summit Power Group’s project is to employ integrated gasification combined cycle technology, which is designed to capture 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and will be a „first-of-a-kind” plant in Texas, Summit said Wednesday in announcing the permit, granted Tuesday.

The plant is to be built on 600 acres in Penwell, 15 miles southwest of Odessa. Construction is to begin in the second half of 2011 and operations should start in late 2014, said Laura Miller, Texas projects director for Summit and the former Dallas mayor.

The Summit plant is rated at 400 gross megawatts of generating capacity, but that is reduced to 214 net megawatts as a result of the emissions-reduction features.

This month, the state environmental agency approved an air-quality permit for another proposed „clean coal” plant in West Texas, a $3.5 billion project by Omaha, Neb.-based Tenaska that is to be built near Sweetwater and will employ a different technology than the Summit plant.

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