NYPA names four contenders for clean-coal project

HOUSTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The New York Power Authority on Thursday identified the four bidders competing to build clean coal power plants in the state, according to Gov. George Pataki’s office.

The bids were in response to the state’s Sept. 1 request for proposals (RFP) for the Advanced Clean Coal Power Plant Initiative, which seeks to encourage the development of one or more clean coal facilities in New York.

The RFP sought bids, due by Oct. 31, for up to 600 megawatts of clean coal power projects.

Bidders include AES Corp. AES.N, an Arlington, Virginia-based power-plant developer active in 26 countries; Competitive Power Ventures of Silver Spring, Maryland; NRG Energy Inc. NRG.N of Princeton, N.J., and Empire Synfuel, said Eileen Natoli, director of the governor's office of regulatory reform.

In addition to tax and other incentives, the state said in the RFP that the power authority would sign 10, 15 or 20-year power purchase agreements with the winning bidder(s).

NYPA has indicated it will announce a preferred bidder by the end of the year.

NRG said earlier this week it had proposed a 680-MW clean coal-fired power plant at its Huntley facility in Erie County.

NRG also said it agreed in principle with natural gas pipeline operator El Paso Corp. EP.N to explore the possible capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions from the proposed Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant.

If NYPA selects the NRG project, the company said the IGCC facility could enter commercial operation in 2013.

IGCC is a process that involves converting coal to a synthetic gas, removing the pollutants -- sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury -- as well as potentially carbon dioxide (CO2), from the synthetic gas before combustion.

NRG said it would build the proposed facility adjacent to the existing six-unit 816 MW Huntley coal-fired plant, which entered service in the 1940s and 1950s.

The new facility, which would have the ability to capture up to 65 percent of the carbon dioxide produced, would utilize the existing plant’s rail, coal handling, and water and transmission facilities.