Preliminary Feasibility Assessment of Geologic Carbon Sequestration Potential for TVA’s John Sevier and Kingston Power Plants

Locations of Coal Relative to Power Plants
Locations of named coal basins in the Appalachian Basin relative to 200-mile distances from TVA’s John Sevier and Kingston power plants

A “first cut” assessment of the potential for geologic carbon sequestration within 200 miles of TVA’s John Sevier and Kingston power plants. Off-site sequestration is likely to be feasible at several locations within a reasonable transportation distance of both plants.

Kingston Fossil Plant
Kingston Fossil Plant >> More

The target area with the best near-term potential appears to be the Pocahontas Basin in southwestern Virginia. The Pocahontas Basin is located within 100 miles of the John Sevier plant and within 200 miles of the Kingston plant.

The Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB) identified coal bed methane reservoirs in the Pocahontas Basin as having great potential for carbon sequestration due to several factors, including high methane gas content in coals, favorable reservoir properties, and existing coal bed methane production infrastructure in place.

SECARB estimates the sequestration capacity in Buchanan and Dickenson counties, Virginia, to be 308 to 818 million metric tons. This corresponds to about 65 to 175 years of current CO2 emissions from the John Sevier plant.

The existence of an extensive network of natural gas pipelines in the Pocahontas Basin could help reduce costs.

Enhanced production of natural gas resulting from CO2 injection could help offset costs.

John Reiver Fossil Plant
John Sevier Fossil Plant >> More

Experience gained from a small-scale demonstration of sequestration conducted for Phase 2 of DOE Carbon Sequestration Program would aid in implementing large-scale sequestration.

The largest impediment to off-site geologic sequestration for either plant is likely to be cost of transporting, storing, and monitoring CO2.

Based on current CO2 emissions, annual costs for the John Sevier plant could exceed $80 million; annual costs for the Kingston plant could exceed $175 million.

Cost estimates do not include:

  • the cost of CO2 capture and separation
  • the cost of additional CO2 emissions generated to meet the additional power requirements for capture and sequestration.

Smith, E. D. and J. W. Saulsbury. 2008. Preliminary Feasibility Assessment of Geologic Carbon Sequestration Potential for TVA’s John Sevier and Kingston Power Plants. ORNL/TM-2008/024. March.

For more information, contact:
Greg Zimmerman (, 865-574-5815)