Sen. Udall pays visit to ION Engineering
Last Updated: 18:15 January 21, 2014
Udall, D-Colo., serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He made the stop as part of his statewide energy tour. Recent stops included visits to a natural gas processing facility in Weld County, a clean-tech startup in Golden, a geothermal housing project in Denver, and a micro-hydropower project in Ridgway.
Alfred "Buz" Brown, chief executive of ION Engineering, explained to the senator how ION's system works and laid out scenarios of how it could be implemented at existing coal-fired energy plants in the state. He said the process could also be used at gas-fired power plants.
During Udall's educational tour, he assured ION staff members that "carbon capture is supremely important to me." Udall has said that the U.S. needs to find new and innovative ways to capture carbon dioxide from power plants as the country tries to move toward using more renewable energy.
Nate Brown, ION's director of research and development, said carbon capture will play a significant role in reducing pollution, and that coal and natural gas will continue to be the major source of energy in the near and intermediate future.
The topic was raised by the Browns of how current EPA and federal regulations could derail the effort of having coal-fired plants implement carbon-capture systems. "As much as I hate to say it, utilities that use coal as a source of energy may need incentives to adopt carbon-capture systems," Al Brown said.
ION has received grants from the federal government to help develop the system, including a $15 million grant in September from the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy. ION is partnering with the Nebraska Public Power District on a pilot project at the Gerald Gentleman Station in Sutherland, Nebraska to test the technology.
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