Southern California Edison proposed performing a $52 million study of a coal-fueled power plant that would produce less global-warming pollution than conventional generators, the Rosemead-based utility company said.


Edison said it is seeking state regulatory approval to pass the costs of the two-year research plan on to its customers. The study would focus on the feasibility and effectiveness of a system that would strip carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the gas. The carbon dioxide, which is a bi-product of the process, would be captured and stored in underground geologic formations. This would be the only facility in the U.S. that uses this technology, Edison said.


The Golden State has the nation's strictest regulations on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases linked to global warming. Edison said it is looking at building the plant in a location west of the Rocky Mountains where coal supply, transmission lines and carbon disposal would be available.


Edison also said that the power plant could be capable of generating 600 megawatts (one megawatt is enough to power about 800 homes) and would produce 10 percent of the carbon emissions as a modern natural gas-fired plant. Natural gas power plants produce more than 50 percent of California's power, Edison said.


Shares in Edison closed down 23 cents and lost another 2 cents to $58.39 in after-hours trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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