The U.S. Department of Energy, in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Commerce, on November 5 issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Mesaba Energy Project, a coal-fired power plant proposed for the St. Paul-Minneapolis area. The proposed project is a coal-feedstock Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (“IGCC”) power plant with an output of approximately 1200 MW.
The DEIS specifically considers the potential impact of the project on climate change, and includes a detailed plan for carbon capture and sequestration prepared by Excelsior Energy Inc., the project developer. The DEIS states that implementation of carbon capture technology would effectively decrease the plant's power output by 2.6 to 8 percent, depending on the capture strategy chosen.
DoE's feasibility analysis for the project states that CCS is not a feasible mitigation strategy for the Mesaba project, because the costs of implementation "will effectively make the cost of electricity non-competitive." Excelsior's report, on the other hand, states the "economics of CCS [for the Mesaba project] look promising."