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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 JG imageI had the pleasure to be invited today in Pittsburgh to a private luncheon hosted by the Premier of Saskatchewan, Brad Wall, to discuss the Boundary Dam project and plans for dissemination of the results from this project internationally. Mike Monea from SaskPower outlined the business case for Boundary Dam; the choice was between low cost lignite and natural gas as the generating fuel. Lignite won because they could predict the price of the coal for the next 20 years, they could not forecast future prices of gas. In building the plant Mike was predicting lower capes costs than quoted in previous EPRI studies which is encouraging, however I suspect we may be comparing apples and pears as the cost of transport and storage is not included in SaskPower's costs, nevertheless mike indicated that having built this plant he feels that he can reduce the cost of the capture island by a further 20 to 30% which is a significant drop in costs for the next generation of plants. Also his parasitic load was only 21% compared to that quoted in other studies of 24 to 40%. So this project is already showing the benefits of building such demonstration plants and we look forward to learning more as operation starts.