Project at Ky. coal plant to trap carbon dioxide - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Project at Ky. coal plant to trap carbon dioxide

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HARRODSBURG, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky elected officials and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy visited a central Kentucky coal power plant to tout a project that will capture and store carbon dioxide emissions.

The announcement of plans for the new carbon capture pilot project was made Monday morning at the E.W. Brown Power Plant in Harrodsburg.

Governor Steve Beshear called it a pivotal day for the future of the commonwealth.

The technology is designed to help old coal-burning power plants meet stricter emissions laws.

"I salute the ingenuity and purpose behind this pilot program here at the E.W. Brown Generating Station," said Governor Steve Beshear.

Governor Beshear, leaders from LG&E, UK and others made it clear that this isn't just about capturing carbon.

It's about doing so in a safe and cost-efficient way.

"If we're going to capture CO2 and we're going to do it on our existing power plants, these are very valuable assets. We don't want to keep building new if we can make these meet requirements," said Rodney Andrews, director for Center for Applied Energy Research.

The unit isn't built yet but officials plan for it to be operating by this fall. A test period will follow.

It will work in a "catch and release" style after capturing the CO2.

"Then we can take that and either use it for sequestration underground or utilize it for other industrial purposes," said Andrews.

Andrews says the goal of the project benefits everyone who uses electricity in Kentucky," said Andrews.

"If we want to remove CO2 from our energy production, we need these technologies to do it and we need them to be as efficient as possible so they don't raise the cost of electricity," he told WDRB.

The big goal is to reduce the impact energy production has on the environment.

"They're not necessarily harmful to a human but they are linked to a climate change," he said.

The project is one of about 15 around the country that is getting support from the Department of Energy.

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