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U.S. Department of Energy will supply $2.9 million for project

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FARMINGTON — An announcement by federal officials that they are funding most of a planned study project related to the planned retrofitting of the San Juan Generation Station drew praise from Farmington officials and representatives of Enchant Energy on Sept. 16.

The U.S. Department of Energy grant for $2.9 million will cover 80 percent of the $3.6 million costs of the project, according to a press release issued by the city of Farmington. The remaining 20 percent of the costs will be funded by Enchant Energy, which is the city's partner in the planned retrofitting.

The press release states the city will contribute services valued at $10,000.

The site-specific front-end engineering design study will be a collaboration between the city and Enchant Energy, and is related to the plan to retrofit the station with carbon capture, utilization and storage technology. According to the press release, the study is designed to determine the technical and economic viability of extending the life of the plant using the carbon capture, utilization and storage system, which could reduce significant CO2 emissions.

Farmington officials said the project will be executed by a consortium of consulting and engineering firms that includes Sargent & Lundy, the WISER Institute at the University of Illinois, Acme Equities LLC, Navigant Consulting, EJM Associates LLC and Tenaska Power Services.

Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett said federal support for the project speaks to the potential of the retrofit plan.

"The FEED study is a significant step forward in proving the technical and economic viability of extending the life of San Juan Generating Station," he stated in the press release, referring to the plan by majority owner the Public Service Company of New Mexico to abandon the facility in 2022.

Enchant Energy CEO Jason Selch described the DOE as the world leader in carbon capture and storage.

"Their expertise was acquired over the past decade and culminated in the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage project that came online in 2017 and has been successfully capturing 90 percent of its CO2 emissions for the past three years," he stated in the press release. "We are honored that the San Juan Generating Station carbon capture retrofit project met the DOE's requirements for funding the FEED study."

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