CHARLESTON — Crediting tax incentives in the new Inflation Reduction Act, Competitive Power Ventures announced plans Friday to build the state’s first multibillion-dollar natural gas-fired power plant using carbon capture technology.
State economic development officials and representatives from Maryland-based Competitive Power Ventures made the announcement Friday afternoon at the Charleston Marriott Hotel.
“This is an exciting day and another exciting day in West Virginia,” said U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., before introducing CPV CEO Gary Lambert. “We’ve had a lot of exciting days and it just keeps getting better.”
CPV plans to build an 1,800-megawatt natural gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in West Virginia that will use carbon capture and sequestration technology to control greenhouse gas emissions. The project is expected to be completed in the next 10 years. The total investment from CPV is expected to exceed $3 billion.
“I have to say the reception in the state so far has been amazing,” Lambert said. “It will take us a few years and we have a lot of research and a lot of work ahead of us. We’re going to design this project to fit right into the community, work with labor throughout the development process … and work closely with the agencies and all the representatives here to make this project a reality.”
A specific location for the project will be announced at a later date, though sources believe the company is considering Doddridge County, which is already a major hub in the state’s natural gas industry with abundant access and existing pipeline infrastructure. Lambert would not confirm or deny whether Doddridge County would be the final destination, saying the company is considering other locations and is still preparing for the permitting process.
CPV’s proposed natural gas plant is their most ambitious project to date. The company has nine projects, including wind and solar projects and six natural gas power plant projects.
Lambert said both the energy project and the carbon capture and capture project could create a total of 150 full-time jobs and up to 1,000 construction jobs. CPV’s largest natural gas-fired project in Grundy County, Illinois, is expected to create 300 full-time jobs and will be a $1.3 billion investment in this community when it becomes operational in 2023 .Once completed, the plant will be a wholesale energy supplier to the PJM interconnection market serving multiple states on the East Coast.
Officials said the project is made possible by updates made to 45Q tax credits for carbon capture and sequestration projects thanks to the $737 billion Inflation Reduction Act negotiated by Manchin and signed by President Joe Biden last month .
“What we’ve done is we’ve made sure that we’re going to be able to produce fossil fuel energy using all the fossil resources that we have in the United States of America,” Manchin said, “cleaner than anywhere else in the world, but to be able to do it and produce it and make sure we are energy independent.
“At the same time, we’re on the same track with our renewables, being able to invest in renewables and the 10-year investment guarantee with investment tax credits and production tax credits, which we’ve never done for a consistent period of time,” he continued.
Changes made to the 45Q tax credit include the dollar amount per ton for storage in saline geological formations, use by industrial and energy projects. The credit is valid for 12 years after the project is completed and brought online. Any project that begins construction by 2033 will be eligible for tax credits.
The Inflation Reduction Act also allows the tax credit to be received by eligible companies as a fully refundable direct payment, and this option is only good for five years after the project goes online for for-profit companies. To qualify for the credit, companies must capture at least 75% of their greenhouse gas emissions.
“That makes the difference; that’s what makes a project like this work,” Manchin said. “This is the goal.”
Company officials also credited the Legislature with passing legislation this year setting standards for carbon capture and sequestration. House Bill 4491 created a carbon capture pilot program and set permitting requirements for future projects.
“Bill 4491 here in the state helps clear the way for carbon storage underground,” Lambert said. “We need security there as well as looking to attract investors to that side of the business. They want to know that if they bury it underground, the state will support them long term. This bill does just that.
The CPV project is the second project announced this week that will use clean energy and benefit from the IRA. Two companies owned by Berkshire Hathaway are buying the former Century Aluminum site in Ravenswood. BHE renewables and Precision Castparts Corp. will build a state-of-the-art titanium smelting facility powered by solar energy. The companies are calling it the first-of-its-kind industrial site powered by a renewable energy microgrid, representing a $500 million investment.
California-based Sparkz also announced earlier this month that it will build an electric battery plant in Taylor County near Bridgeport. The proposed manufacturing plant would employ 350 workers on the site of a former glass factory. The company first announced the proposed plant in March, which would produce lithium-ion batteries with zero cobalt content. Sparkz patents come from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
“We are able to … produce energy from West Virginia in the cleanest way possible using the natural resources that we have,” Manchin said. “It’s a great opportunity.”