Potential conversion of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington into the world’s largest carbon capture facility has elevated New Mexico to the forefront of federal efforts to save the coal industry.
During a roundtable discussion in Albuquerque Oct. 5, U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Mark W. Menezes told local officials and industry executives connected to the project that the federal government’s top brass is watching closely.
“The DOE and the (Trump) administration are committed to do whatever we can to help this project go forward,” Menezes said. “The White House is aware of what you’re doing here today.”
The Trump administration considers carbon-capture technology a critical key to allowing fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to remain a cornerstone of the energy industry, even as the nation moves to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through adoption of renewables like solar and wind generation. But the technology needs more development with real-world success stories, making San Juan’s conversion a potential role model for the U.S. and other countries, Menezes told roundtable participants.
“Carbon capture, utilization and storage technology is an incredible example of innovation that can drive emissions to zero, making fossil fuels as emissions-free as renewables,” Menezes said. “… For San Juan and New Mexico, it can be an absolute game changer, propelling the state into a world leader in CCUS.”