Excelsior and ConocoPhillips will construct and operate the 531-megawatt Mesaba Energy Project in Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota.
The project will incorporate results from technology studies and lessons learned at the Wabash River Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant in Indiana, to reduce costs and improve efficiency and availability for a next generation, oxygen-blown gasification plant using bituminous coal.
The total cost for the coal-based demonstration project is $1.18 billion, of which DOE will contribute $36 million as the federal cost share.
The project was one of two selected to demonstrate advanced power generation systems using IGCC technology, a variation on a natural gas-fired combined cycle power plant in which a coal-derived gas (produced by the coal gasifier) replaces the natural gas. In a combined cycle plant two power generators, or cycles, are used in combination to generate electricity in a very efficient manner.