An Xcel coal plant in Denver

Because of my work against the Mesaba Project, I’ve been loosely tracking other projects. What concerns me most is that Xcel, or is it Public Service Company of Colorado, is maneuvering to get the legislative perks that could make it happen, and I don’t see that happening elsewhere.

Xcel characterizes its IGCC proposal as an example of its “environmental leadership.” IGCC is incorporated into its assumptions for its Integrated Resource Planning Strategist model. And they’re publicizing it openly – Xcel pushing higher-tech coal plant. But they’re pretty consistent in saying/cautioning that it’s “demonstration” technology – that it’s not something ready for the regular market.

Here’s a power point from Xcel called “Colorado IGCC Demonstration Project” that’s on the PSC-WI site! Â xcel-colorado-igcc-demonstration-project-march2006.ppt

And here’s an Apollo Alliance blurb showing union support for IGCC (but I would imagine it’s the jobs, jobs, jobs theory, and it’s a matter of finding another project! And I sure hope they’re not overstating “jobs” out there the way they did here while ramming the bill through!) Here’s what the Apollo Alliance site has to say in a legislative wrap up:

 4. Construction of a high-technology â??clean coalâ? IGCC power plant in Colorado to be built with local project labor agreement

Apollo Alliance members joined with Xcel Energy to support legislation promoting a demonstration project for an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant with carbon sequestration. Championed by Rep. Buescher and Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, House Bill 1281 directs the PUC to consider proposals for a demonstration gasified coal plant which would include an experiment of sequestering CO2. This new type of plant would also use coal more efficiently and emit substantially fewer pollutants. Though no specific project labor agreement requirement is included in the bill, Apolloâ??s labor partners have a good history working with Xcel Energy. The bill passed through the legislature overwhelmingly and was signed by the Governor.

* Final Status: HB06-1281 â?? Passed both chambers, Signed by Governor.

So it looks to me like they’re using the Mesaba model there. Does anyone out there know how this is faring with the public? Is anyone paying attention to this proposal?
Next time I’ve got a few minutes, I’ll check out what’s going on in Ohio!

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