City Council – meeting this afternoon as the Utility Board – will not consider a proposed contract with Neumann Systems Group. The item was pulled off the agenda.
The locally based company has been developing commercial systems for elimination of pollutants (eventually including greenhouse gases) from flue gas at fossil-fuel burning power plants.
Colorado Springs Utilities entered into a public-private partnership with NSG in 2008. So far, CSU has spent $17 million testing and developing the equipment.
While CSU is pleased with the results so far, no contract will be signed until the Electric Power Research Institute issues a preliminary report on the effectiveness of NSG’s technology.
“We were expecting the report sometime in October,” said CSU spokesman Dave Grossman, “but we haven’t received it, so there’s no change in the status.”
If EPRI’s report is positive, it may have far-reaching effects. NSG’s pollution-elimination systems are said to be much more effective and substantially less expensive than current technology. Under current technology, CSU expects to spend $360 million to control emissions particulates, sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides. That amount could be reduced by half.
EPRI’s green light might signal the advent of a “disruptive technology” with the potential to capture a significant slice of a multi-billion dollar international market for coal-fired power plant emission control. That in turn might mean hundreds of new hires at a local company which currently employs 60 people.