Toshiba is the latest industrial partner to become part of a clean energy project being mounted by Durham-based NET Power, which recently announced a $50 million investment and partnership with Shaw Group.

The Japan-based company has agreed to develop the high temperature and high pressure turbine and combustor that will be the “key equipment” in NET Power’s pilot power plant.

The three firms along with utility firm Exelon plan to build a natural gas plant capable of generate 25 megawatts of power in 2014 and what they call a “full-scale” industrial plant with 250 megawatts of power by 2017.

Using technology invented by a NET Power scientist, NET Power says the system will create little or no air emissions while also capturing CO2.

The financial terms of Toshiba’s commitment to the project were not disclosed.

“Toshiba’s expertise in high-pressure and high-temperature turbines is a tremendous asset to NET Power,” said NET Power Chief Executive Officer Bill Brown. “We founded NET Power because we believe the global power generation industry is in serious need
of a low-cost carbon solution that is deployable in the near term. With Toshiba, Shaw and Exelon on board, we have assembled a first-class development team that will help NET Power rapidly bring this essential technology to the world.”

The NET Power system will utilize highly pressurized CO2 to drive generator turbines. It also eliminates nitrogen oxides as a by-product. The CO2 will be captured and made available for other uses, such as “enhanced oil recovery” to produce more oil from.

Toshiba said it also is committed to “promote sales of the system globally.

NET Power is backed by 8 Rivers Capital. Louisiana-based Shaw Group will invest $50.4 million in cash and in-kind services as part of the deal.

The investment deal is the largest in a Triangle firm this year. Argos Therapeutics raised $25 million in April after cancelling a stock offering.

The location of the pilot plant was not disclosed but it will be built in a collaborative effort, a NET Power spokesperson told WRAL Tech Wire.

8 Rivers and NET Power are not disclosing their cash contributions to the deal. 8 Rivers is the funder for the development of NET Power to date.

8 Rivers Capital’s Rodney Allam, its chief technologist, developed the technology which is called the Allam Cycle. The technology involves the capture of air emissions from fossil fuel and produces carbon dioxide which can be used for enhanced oil recovery through use of CO2 or stored in a process called sequestration.

8 Rivers Capital is a technology acceleration firm.