DURHAM – Another major energy supplier has signed on to back Durham-based NET Power, which is developing technology to captures all carbon dixoide produced in electric power through natural gas.
Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, or OLCV, is making an investment in NET Power, the companies announced Thursday. Oxy is a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum.
The amount of the funding was not disclosed.
NET Power secured $50 million in 2013 shortly after its launch. Backers include 8 Rivers Capital in Durham along with Exelon Generation and McDermott.
The firm had raised $140 million, not including the new investment.
“OLCV is dedicated to advancing innovative low-carbon technology solutions that will grow Occidental’s business while reducing emissions,” said Occidental Petroleum Senior Vice President Richard Jackson. “NET Power’s power generation technology with inherent carbon capture complements Occidental’s leadership in CO2utilization and sequestration, making us ideal partners to tackle carbon emissions worldwide.”
NET Power has constructed “a first-of-a-kind power plant that will validate a new natural gas power system that produces low-cost electricity with zero atmospheric emissions, including carbon dioxide.”
It has built demonstration facility in La Porte, Texas. The company says the plant “is the world’s first and only industrial-scale supercritical CO2-based power plant.”
Declared Bloomberg news in July about the plant: “NET Power figured out how to burn fossil fuels without releasing greenhouse gases, a critical step in the fight to slow climate change.”
MIT Technology Review earlier this year selected NET Power’s technology as one of its top 10 picks for 2018.
“The plant puts the carbon dioxide released from burning natural gas under high pressure and heat, using the resulting supercritical CO2 as the ‘working fluid’ that drives a specially built turbine,” MIT noted. “Much of the carbon dioxide can be continuously recycled; the rest can be captured cheaply.”
The NET Power system utilizes 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.
“NET Power has developed a critical tool for affordably generating electricity and addressing global carbon emissions, and Occidental’s expertise and dedication to advancing low-carbon solutions will help to advance this technology rapidly around the world,” said NET Power CEO Bill Brown in a statement.