Texas Pilot Project Shows How Natural Gas Can Produce “Emissions-Free” Electricity

Thu, March 10, 2022

Can natural gas be a carbon-free fuel? A power plant in La Porte, Texas has proven it can. In November 2021, Net Power LLC’s technology delivered emissions-free electricity to the grid “for the first time anywhere in the world,” exporting enough energy to power more than 1,000 homes during a first-time grid synchronization. Industry experts have called this achievement “Wright Brothers” level, emphasizing the paradigm shift of the breakthrough.

Net Power’s proprietary technology works by burning natural gas with pure oxygen instead of air and using carbon dioxide instead of steam to drive a turbine and generate electricity. To drive emissions down further, Net Power’s four-step technology recycles most of the resulting CO2 into a pipeline built to carry CO2 that can be supplied to third parties for underground storage or use in industrial processes.

Since Net Power’s successful demonstration in November, Baker Hughes, a renown energy technology company, partnered with Net Power to develop the equipment needed for commercial-scale power plants. This resolves one of Net Power’s greatest challenge- how to scale this transformative technology. Baker Hughes will help design and manufacture the equipment to expand, compress and pump the recycled CO2 that is captured. Net Power also plans to develop a smaller, industrial-scale version and a larger utility-scale version of the system. While construction is already taking place in some facilities throughout Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, Net Power plans to deploy its first commercial unit in 2025.  

Companies like McDermott International Ltd., Constellation Energy Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp. and 8 Rivers Capital have also signed on to work or license Net Power’s emissions-saving technology.

States with a plentiful supply of natural gas, like Texas, would benefit greatly by integrating this technology into the power grid. Texas oil and gas producers have been able to not only maintain, but increase oil and gas production, over the past decade, providing a reliable fuel source.

This technology would allow for the continued use of a reliable, bountiful and affordable natural gas for power generation while significantly addressing greenhouse gas emissions. Net Power’s technology is an example of the type of innovation that will ensure Texas’s abundant energy supply will continue meeting the state’s demand for years to come.