Clean coal power on Florida's agenda

ONE of the cleanest burning power plants in the world is primed for commercial use following the completion of an eight-year project by the US Department of Energy (DoE) and Florida utility JEA.

The project, under the auspices of the DoE's Technology Demonstration program, involved the conversion of the JEA's Northside Generating Station at a shared cost of $US320 million.

It was the largest demonstration to date of circulating fluidised bed combustion by three-fold, with the installation of a 300MW combustor, and its completion confirmed its environmental efficiency and its readiness for commercial use.

The system replaced a more expensive, less reliable component that was fired by natural gas and oil.

Throughout the technology's production the innovation earned accolades, including Power magazine's "2002 Power Plant Award" and a Florida Engineering Society award, "Technical Achievement Award 2002".

The success of the project makes plain the potential for energy generators to use the technology with diverse fuels, including mid- to high-sulphur coal, while still operating within environmental mandates.

JEA said the plant would remain running as a commercial, baseload facility, and utilised during periods of low customer demand due to its environmental and economic efficiency.

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