GE hits cleaner coal energy milestone; ships turbines to major U.S. power plant

Summary:General Electric announced the shipment of another advanced turbine to a U.S. power plant, calling the move a "major milestone" in cleaner coal.

General Electric on Friday announced the shipment of another advanced turbine to a U.S. power plant, calling the move a "major milestone" in cleaner coal.

The second of two GE 7F syngas turbines is headed to Duke Energy's integrated gasification combined-cycle, or IGCC, power plant in Edwardsport, Ind.

Set for completion in 2012, the facility is expected to be the largest, most advanced commercial IGCC plant in the world. It's expected to generate up to 618 megawatts of electricity, or enough power to 500,000 homes.

Duke Energy president Catherine Heigel called the plant "one of the cleanest and most efficient coal-fired plants in the world."

IGCC technology converts coal to gas, where pollutants such as mono-nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, mercury and particulate are removed.

The tech allows the plant to capture carbon dioxide prior to combustion, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions compared to a traditional coal plant.

In a statement, GE Power & water gasification general manager Monte Atwell said the technology needs federal support and incentives to compete on the world stage.

"Already, China is emerging as a world leader in the construction of more efficient, less polluting coal plants," Atwell said. "If America doesn't act swiftly, the opportunity to export U.S. IGCC technology to coal-rich nations like China and India may be lost."

IGCC technology is also used in plants in Barstow, Calif. and Polk County, Fla.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

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Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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