Energy and environmental services provider Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) has received a limited notice to proceed (LNTP) from NorthStar Clean Energy for a coal-to-biomass power plant conversion project in Michigan, US.

B&W will begin work on the bioenergy with carbon capture and storage conversion at a former coal-fired power plant in Filer City, Michigan, US.

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The Filer City facility, a 73MW power plant, is transforming to utilise biomass as its primary fuel source.

The plant is co-owned by Tondu Corp and NorthStar Clean Energy, a subsidiary of the CMS Energy Corporation.

B&W’s involvement includes implementing its SolveBright post-combustion CO₂  capture technology.

The collaboration between B&W and NorthStar Clean Energy aims to finalise a comprehensive contract following an extensive front-end engineering and design study conducted by B&W.

The LNTP enables B&W to commence detailed design and procurement efforts while the final contract terms are being established.

The full notice to proceed with the project is anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2024.

B&W’s responsibilities in the full contract encompass the engineering, design and supply of equipment necessary for the plant’s conversion to biomass fuel.

The contract is likely to include the installation of carbon capture technology.

B&W executive vice-president and chief operating officer Jimmy Morgan stated: “We are excited to work with NorthStar Clean Energy on this very important net-negative CO₂ emissions project.

“By pairing sustainably sourced biomass fuel with carbon capture, our customer will be able to produce clean energy while eliminating the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions.”

“As regulations require plant owners to significantly reduce or eliminate greenhouse gases from their coal-fired power generating assets, fuel-switching paired with CO₂  capture can allow these assets to continue to provide economical and reliable baseload energy for many years to come.”

The Filer City power plant is expected to operate on sustainable biomass and leverage B&W’s SolveBright process to achieve power generation with net-negative greenhouse gas emissions.

The plant will capture 550,000t of CO₂ annually, which will be permanently stored underground.

NorthStar Clean Energy president Brian Hartmann stated: “NorthStar Clean Energy is excited to bring our innovative spirit and development expertise to build one of the nation’s first large-scale biomass with carbon capture and sequestration projects.

“This project marks a step-change in real-world opportunities for our customers that are working to decarbonise and meet their business goals.”