Proposal for Implementing Carbon Capture Technology in Two Coal-Fired Units at the Jim Bridger Plant

Gov. Mark Gordon is excited about a proposal by a coal-fired power plant to install carbon capture technology as a potential victory for Wyoming, provided that it proves financially advantageous. The parent company of Rocky Mountain Power, PacifiCorp, recently submitted an update to its energy sourcing plans for the next two decades. As the largest utility in the state, Rocky Mountain Power’s proposal includes plans to install carbon capture technology on units 3 and 4 of the Jim Bridger Power Plant in 2028, located outside of Point of Rocks.

In 2020, state lawmakers mandated that public utilities explore the feasibility of implementing carbon capture technology at their coal plants in an effort to maintain coal-fired power as part of the energy mix. However, consumer advocates are concerned that the costs associated with retrofitting the plant could ultimately be passed on to the company’s 144,000 Wyoming customers. The Wyoming Public Service Commission will be responsible for reviewing PacifiCorp’s proposal to install carbon capture technology at the Jim Bridger Power Plant.

The proposed installation of carbon capture technology at the Jim Bridger Power Plant is seen as a way to extend the life of these units and keep them running beyond their expected retirement dates. Initially, Rocky Mountain Power had proposed converting these units to natural gas but now believes that installing carbon capture technology could prove more cost-effective in the long run. This decision was made after considering factors such as fuel costs and emissions regulations.

Gov. Gordon has expressed support for this proposal and sees it as a step towards reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants while keeping them operational in Wyoming’s energy mix. He believes that this will help preserve jobs and economic opportunities for residents in coal mining communities who rely heavily on these plants for employment.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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