The newest electric utility in the United States has announced a major expansion in its carbon-constrained line of pipes, making the carbon-free carbon steel pipe more competitive with traditional coal-fired steam generators.
The expansion of a carbon-efficient line of carbon-neutral power plants has spurred demand for carbon-friendly products, including steel pipe.
“This is a massive expansion of our carbon-certified capacity to meet the demand of the electric grid,” said Tom Tummino, chief executive of Southern California Edison (SCE), in an interview with The Wall St. Journal.
That is because carbon-negative pipes are much more efficient than their carbon-positive counterparts.
They can use more coal and produce more energy per unit of electricity, so it makes sense to build them to meet those requirements.
But the demand for new carbon-capture technologies is expected to grow.
As electric demand grows, demand for electric utilities is expected more than doubled to 4.2 billion kilowatt-hours by 2035, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
That growth is expected partly due to increased demand for electricity, especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Many utilities in the U, Europe and Japan have recently expanded their use of carbon capture and storage to meet that demand.
At SCE, SCE is the nation’s largest carbon-control utility.
It serves nearly 1.2 million customers, mostly in Southern California, where most of its power comes from the electric utility’s electric transmission and distribution network.
On average, the utility uses more than 100 tons of carbon dioxide per year, more than any other company in the country, the SCE said in a statement.
About two-thirds of SCE’s electricity is generated by coal.
Its carbon-controlled coal-generated generation is more efficient and more economical than its carbon dioxide-generating coal-generation, the company said.
It has the largest carbon control facility in the nation, the Carbon Control Plant at the Los Angeles County-Southern California Edison Center.
It produces more carbon dioxide than any of its coal-based generators combined.