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New KGS publication on results of power-plant site carbon storage potential

A newly-released publication by the Kentucky Geological Survey at the University of Kentucky describes the geologic carbon-storage potential in the vicinity of five coal-fired generating plants in Kentucky. The plants are operated by LG&E-KU, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation.

Dave Harris and John Hickman of the KGS Energy and Minerals Section completed the 7-month project in May 2011.They evaluated the geology within a 15-mile radius of each the generating station, with a goal of quantifying CO2 storage capacity at each site.. That information could help to select, design, and seek funding for any future integrated carbon capture and storage demonstration project, should grant funding become available. LG&E-KU also conducted an engineering study to determine which plant was best suited for retrofitting with capture equipment to separate CO2 from the flue gas. Both studies were funded by a grant from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, Department for Energy Development and Independence.

The sites evaluated included: E.W. Brown Station (Mercer Co.), Ghent Station (Carroll Co.), Green River Station (Muhlenberg Co.), Mill Creek Station (Jefferson Co.), and Trimble County Station. Detailed geologic studies, including interpretation of seismic reflection data, were completed to estimate CO2 storage options and capacity in the study area around each facility. The results of the research project have been published as a contract report titled "Evaluation of geologic CO2 storage potential at LG&E and Kentucky Utilities power plant locations, central and western Kentucky, " authored by Harris and Hickman. It is available for free download at this page on the KGS Web site.

The evaluation concluded that all of the sites have potential to inject and store CO2 within the study area, but storage volumes vary significantly between sites. LG&E-KU will use the studies to determine which generating station may best be suited for geologic storage and CO2 capture facilities, should a future demonstration project be initiated.