Tom Vessels has been working in the natural gas and coal mining industries for more than 40 years. He is currently the president of Vessels Coal Gas, Inc. (Vessels) and manager of North Fork Energy, LLC, both of Denver, Colorado, USA. Mr. Vessels’ presentation will cover the stages of coal mine methane (CMM) project development, including conception, initial discussions, and initial design. He will also cover project operations and technical issues to resolve in local environments, as well as discuss policy and political hurdles one might encounter when developing a CMM project.
Vessels has been working on qualifying energy from waste mine methane for the high value carbon and energy markets since 2007. The company has developed and is expanding projects for capturing CMM in three states. The company’s largest CMM collection project is in Colorado, while its longest-running project is in Pennsylvania. Vessels has won awards for environmental excellence in both states.
Vessels currently operates a CMM recovery facility on the abandoned Bethlehem Energy Mine 33, initially registered with the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS). The pipeline injection of mine gas project came online in May 2008 and electrical generation began in December 2010. As of January 1, 2013 the plant had sold over 407 billion cubic feet of natural gas into the Peoples Natural Gas local distribution company pipeline. The plant has produced over 152,910 Verified Carbon Units using the VCS methodology, and generated 8,291,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 8,291 Renewable Energy Credits.
Under the Climate Action Reserve, the company is currently destroying approximately 2,700,000 standard cubic feet per day of vented mine methane.