EDF Agrees Not to Oppose Trailblazer Energy Center Based on Tenaska Environmental and Water Commitments

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Tenaska develops, constructs, owns and operates non-utility generation and cogeneration plants.

AUSTIN, Texas, PRNewswire [WorldofRenewables.com]

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an influential organization with a leadership position in the nation’s efforts to maintain a sustainable environment, will not oppose air quality permits for the Tenaska Trailblazer Energy Center under development between Abilene and Sweetwater, Texas, and will withdraw from the contested case process currently in progress.

Tenaska and EDF signed an agreement regarding the advanced energy facility today. Under the agreement, Tenaska has agreed that the plant will contain equipment designed to capture at least 85 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by the plant. The company will also contract for delivery and sequestration of the captured CO2 to third parties authorized by Texas and federal law to inject the gas into approved geologic formations. Tenaska also agrees the water obtained for operation from outside sources will not exceed 2,000 acre-feet of water per year, enough to support the most water efficient cooling design for the plant.

In return for Tenaska’s agreement, EDF agrees to withdraw from the contested case hearing and not to protest Tenaska’s draft air quality permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. EDF also will not seek to delay the granting of any future air quality permits required for the Trailblazer Energy Center, and will not assist others who might seek to do so.

“The era of building traditional coal plants without carbon capture and storage is over,” said Jim Marston, EDF national energy program director. “This groundbreaking agreement addresses carbon as well as water, a scarce resource in that region. Tenaska is to be commended for ending business-as-usual coal-fired power production.”

“Our Trailblazer power plant represents commercial demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies, with potential applications throughout the world,” said Dr. Greg Kunkel, Tenaska Vice President of Environmental Affairs. “We are very pleased to be able to cooperate with one of the nation’s most respected environmental organizations in this groundbreaking endeavor. Because it is widely respected, EDF’s support will be valuable in bringing this project to fruition and helping demonstrate the environmental advantages of the advanced Trailblazer technology.”

Tenaska, an energy company based in Omaha, Neb., is developing a site between Abilene and Sweetwater in West Texas for construction of Trailblazer, a 600-megawatt (net) coal-fueled, advanced technology power plant. Trailblazer would be among the first conventional, commercial coal-fueled power plant in the world to capture 85 to 90 percent of the CO2 that would otherwise be emitted and provide for its geologic storage. Tenaska plans to send the CO2 to nearby Permian Basin oil fields for use in enhanced oil recovery, a well-established petroleum industry process.

On April 6, Tenaska announced its decision to employ water-conserving dry cooling technology at the Trailblazer Energy Center. Dry cooling equipment uses air to cool water and steam rather than evaporating water. Because dry cooling substantially reduces evaporation, the consumption of water is reduced by more than 90 percent when compared to traditional “wet cooling” methods predominantly used by power plants today.

Dr. Kunkel said the agreement also helps reinforce Tenaska’s respected international reputation for living up to its commitments. “The agreement with EDF is another example of Tenaska doing what it says it’s going to do. A few years ago, we determined it would be shortsighted to build new coal-fueled electric generating plants without answering the CO2 question. Our philosophy hasn’t changed. If anything, our strategy in developing large-scale carbon capture has been reinforced since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has officially recognized CO2 as a pollutant.”

About Tenaska

Tenaska is an energy company, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, that develops, constructs, owns and operates non-utility generation and cogeneration plants. The company also markets natural gas, biofuels and electric power, and provides risk management services. Tenaska is involved in asset acquisition, fuel supply, natural gas exploration, production and transportation systems, and electric transmission development. Tenaska has developed approximately 9,000 MW of electric generating capacity across the United States. Tenaska’s affiliates operate and manage eight power plants in six states totaling more than 6,700 MW of generating capacity owned in partnership with other companies. Tenaska Capital Management, an affiliate, provides management services for standalone private equity funds, with more than $5 billion in assets, including nine power plants (with approximately 5,400 MW of capacity), natural gas assets, and transmission infrastructure construction and maintenance operations. In 2008, Tenaska was listed in benchmarking studies by the Natural Resources Defense Council as having the best record in the United States for controlling fleet-wide controls average emissions of carbon dioxide and among the top performing companies for controlling nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. For more information about Tenaska or the Trailblazer Energy Center, visit www.tenaska.com or www.tenaskatrailblazer.com.

About Environmental Defense Fund

Environmental Defense Fund is a leading national nonprofit organization, representing more than 700,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit www.edf.org.

Environmental Defense Fund is dedicated to protecting the environmental rights of all people, including future generations. Among these rights are accesses to clean air and water, healthy and nourishing food, and flourishing ecosystems. Guided by science, Environmental Defense Fund evaluates environmental problems and works to create and advocate solutions that win lasting political, economic and social support because they are nonpartisan, cost-efficient and fair. EDF’s national headquarters is in New York City. Its Texas Regional Office is in Austin, Texas.

SOURCE Tenaska

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