Schlumberger New Energy, Chevron Corporation, Microsoft and Clean Energy Systems announced plans to develop a bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) project designed to produce carbon negative power in Mendota, California.
The BECCS plant will convert agricultural waste biomass, such as almond trees, into a renewable synthesis gas that will be mixed with oxygen in a combustor to generate electricity. More than 99% of the carbon from the BECCS process is expected to be captured for permanent storage by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) underground into nearby deep geologic formations.
By using biomass fuel that consumes CO2 over its lifetime to produce power and then safely and permanently storing the produced CO2, the process is designed to result in net-negative carbon emissions, effectively removing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. The plant, when completed, is expected to remove about 300,000 tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to the emissions from electricity use of more than 65,000 U.S. homes.
The completed facility will help improve air quality in the Central Valley by using approximately 200,000 tons of agricultural waste annually, in line with the recent California Air Resources Control Board plan to begin phasing out almost all agricultural burning in the Valley by 2025. The bioenergy technology is designed to operate without routine emissions of nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and particulates from combustion produced by conventional biomass plants.
The project is expected to create up to 300 construction jobs and about 30 permanent jobs once the facility is operating. The companies involved expect to begin front end engineering and design immediately, leading to a final investment decision in 2022, and will then evaluate other opportunities to scale this carbon capture and sequestration solution.