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How the Biggest Power Plant in Texas Will Use Pollution to Pump Oil

Source: 
State Impact
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Publicly available

In past years, the W. A. Parish power plant outside Houston in Fort Bend County has ranked near the top of national lists for “Most Polluting Power Plants.” It has also been lauded for it’s efforts to reduce emissions. Now, this power behemoth, the biggest power plant in Texas and second biggest fossil fuel-burning plant in the nation, is planning to build one of the country’s more innovative pollution control projects. It will use some of its pollution to pump oil out of the ground. Plant owner NRG said it will begin construction next year of its “carbon capture” system. The system, made up of  pipes and flues and sprayers, will be installed on one of the plant’s four coal-burning power generation units (four other units burn natural gas). “This will be the first commercial-scale carbon capture on a power plant in the United States,” said Jeff Baudier, CEO of Petra Nova, NRG’s wholly-owned carbon capture business.