A little birdie has been looking around at Mesaba — but first…

Here’s a report of an obvious problem with IGCC from John Blair, Valley Watch— the pipedream is just that, and the truth that those of us in the midst of coal gasification know too well is finally coming out publicly:

Carbon capture plans failing – IEA

2010-06-14 18:22

London – The world is failing to meet goals to develop carbon capture technology, the energy watchdog to industrialised economies said on Monday as it reported back to G8 countries on their past promises.

At a summit in Japan two years ago, eight of the world’s leading economies backed an International Energy Agency goal to launch 20 large-scale projects to demonstrate carbon capture and storage technology by 2010.

In fact there were only five such projects in operation, all commissioned before the 2008 summit, said the energy adviser to 28 developed countries ahead of next week’s G8 summit in Canada.

None of those existing projects tested the full chain of CCS processes, which involves trapping and then piping and storing underground carbon emissions from coal and gas power plants.

“(The 2010 goal) remains a challenge and will require that governments and industry work in concert,” the IEA said in a report to the Canada G8 summit.

Large projects

One new Australian project had launched, however, and was proceeding to construction to test the full CCS process.

Also on a positive note, the IEA estimated that governments had committed over the past two years to provide over $26bn in funding support for demonstration projects. That compares with an annual funding need of between $5bn and $6.5bn over the next decade.

The IEA argues that CCS is a vital technology to fight climate change because it could allow developing countries to continue to burn supplies of cheap coal and still curb carbon emissions, as they try to grow their economies. Developing countries are now the main global source of rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The IEA estimates that about 100 CCS large-scale projects are needed worldwide by 2020, about half in developing countries, to stay within safer limits of climate change.

The report calculated that governments are committed to support between 19 and 43 large projects by 2020, and cited other estimates of about 80 projects at various stages of development.

“Much greater effort will be needed to meet future deployment levels,” it said.

– Reuters

Meanwhile, the little birdie…  We’ve been in this odd and unenviable place, a big horrible coal gasification plant, the Mesaba Project, promoted by Excelsior Energy, a shell corp with nada for assets, which demanded a Power Purchase Agreement then denied by the PUC, and yet inexplicably granted a siting permit for not just “one” but TWO projects totalling over 1,000MW of IGCC!  OH… MY… DOG!  So it’s in limbo land, and we’re wondering how on earth this thing stays on life support as it rots away…

The little birdie had this report:

Excelsior Energy was supposed to have filed a new air permit, and the MPCA was supposed to have reviewed the 2006 air permit application “to assure that the protocol was acceptable to federal land managers.”  Well, that didn’t happen, the “review” by MPCA OR the filing of the new air permit, which was supposed to have been filed last week.

2006 Excelsior Energy Mesaba Project Air Permit

… and the little birdie while looking around found this in their “Frequently Asked Questions” on their site, then scroll down to “View common transmission misconceptions” to p. 2:

Myth: The Mesaba Project will force wind energy off from the transmission grid.

Fact: Mesaba will make upgrades to the transmission grid so that the electricity from the Mesaba Project does not interfere with any existing or planned wind energy.

This myth stems from a misinterpretation of the Mesaba Unit One G477 and G519 System Impact Reports. In preparing the reports, the engineers determined that their base case was unrealistic. Therefore, they used their engineering judgment to make some assumptions so the reports could provide meaningful results. Although those assumptions were made only for the purposes of the report, an internet “blogger” misinterpreted the assumptions to mean that the Mesaba Project would force wind energy off from the transmission grid. In fact, the transmission upgrades associated with the Mesaba Project will ensure that it will not interfere with any “network resources” such as wind farms.


And this “Myth” section is a lot like their letter to Commerce regarding EIS Scoping Comments:

Excelsior Energy Response to EIS Scoping Comments 11-7-06

Anyway, I’d like to see this blog posting they’re referring to!  Misinterpreted?  Naaaaaaah, it’s all the interpretations of those presenting and reviewing at the MAPP meeting.  Their claims are sorta like the matter of using a site with existing infrastructure:


I wonder what it was that blew their dress up… could it be:

So now it’s deliverable??? SWAG! January 9th, 2007

They caaalll Mesaaaba liiiars… November 25th, 2006

It’s all about this study — READ IT FOR YOURSELF:

Deliverability Study Report G-519 12-15-06

Anyway, their air permit application was submitted, and it is a mess. The rules have changed.  We’re waiting for the next Air Permit application, which will be… when???

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