NETL’s Updated Performance and Cost Estimates for Power Generation Facilities Equipped with Carbon Capture

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The National Energy Technology Laboratory recently updated its study titled Cost and Performance Baseline for Fossil Energy Plants, Volume 1: Bituminous Coal and Natural Gas to Electricity. This study presents an independent assessment of the performance and cost for state-of-the-art fossil energy power systems using a systematic, transparent technical and economic approach. Each plant is presented both with and without carbon capture. The primary purpose of this revision is to update the performance and cost assumptions for the solvent-based post-combustion capture systems used with natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) and pulverized coal (PC) plants, based on a 2021 vendor quote. Historically, this study reported the performance and cost for only 90% capture systems. In addition to 90% capture systems, this update incorporates 95% capture cases as the industry standard for both NGCC and PC plants equipped with carbon capture. The highest capture rate cases (97% NGCC, 99% PC) are included in an appendix - although technoeconomic analyses of deep decarbonization of combustion flue gas have been published by others, the relatively limited experience with design and operation of capture systems that can routinely, reliably, and economically achieve very high removal rates requires further study. Beyond the significant update to the post-combustion capture system representations, this revision also incorporates H-class NGCCs, in addition to the existing F-class machines.

The results of this work are important inputs to assessments and determinations of technology combinations to be utilized to meet the projected demands of future decarbonized power markets and provide perspective for regulators and policy makers. From a research and development perspective, these results are used to assess goals and metrics and to provide a consistent basis for evaluation of developing carbon capture technologies.


This project was funded by the Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory an agency of the United States Government, through a support contract. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of its employees, nor the support contractor, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, expressor implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights.  Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States


Marc Turner

Senior Chemical Engineering support contractor