WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman, in a speech before the National Coal Council in Washington, DC today, announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $100 million to further develop carbon sequestration technologies used to capture and permanently store greenhouse gases. The research is part of President Bush’s Global Climate Change Initiative, which is designed to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent by 2012 in part through the development of significant sequestration technologies.
“DOE is working closely with the private sector and research universities to develop technologies to produce energy in a more efficient and environmentally responsible way, and carbon sequestration is at the cutting edge of these advances,” said Secretary Bodman. “By moving carbon sequestration technology from the laboratory to the field with today's grants, we are another step closer to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the important role coal plays in America's energy mix.”
The seven projects selected by the Department are led by public-private sector consortiums of businesses, state agencies, and universities. These consortiums are part of a national network of regional carbon sequestration partnerships created by DOE in 2002 to serve as the backbone of this country’s sequestration research network.
In 2003, DOE made a first round of competitive grants to seven partnerships to determine the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure requirements for carbon sequestration in different areas of the country. These teams have employed computer modeling and detailed geographic and economic analysis to identify sequestration opportunities across the United States that have the potential to store more than 600 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of more than 200 years of emissions from energy sources in the United States.
The grants being made today are the second step in this effort. These competitive awards are being made to the same seven consortiums that received awards in 2003, have done the research in the laboratories and have a proven track record. Over the next four years, these partnerships will field test and validate carbon sequestration technologies that are best suited to their respective regions. They will also evaluate the most promising regional repositories for carbon dioxide. As part of this effort, the partnerships will also conduct public outreach, satisfy permitting requirements, and identify best-management practices for future deployment.
Each partnership will receive between $2 million and $4 million per year in DOE funding, which will provide at least 20 percent of project costs. The total value of the seven projects exceeds $145 million over four years.
The results obtained during this phase of testing will be crucial to the future of carbon sequestration and the continued use of coal as a significant energy source in a manner that is environmentally responsible. The results will also be critical to the future of DOE’s FutureGen power plant, by offering data that will help determine the most ideal location for siting such a plant. FutureGen is a highly efficient and technologically sophisticated coal-fired power plant that will produce both hydrogen and electricity without emissions.
The selected regional partnerships and a summary of their projects follow:
Big Sky Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership will demonstrate geologic storage in mafic/basalt rock formations, which hold significant potential for long-term storage of carbon dioxide. For example, the Big Sky region’s Columbia River Basalt area could store an estimated 30 years of carbon dioxide emissions from all U.S. coal-fired power plants. The partnership, headed by Montana State University, will also evaluate opportunities to design cropland and forestland field test sites. The covered states include Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Idaho, and eastern Washington and Oregon.
Total Project Cost: $17,881,246
DOE Share: $14,208,102
Partner Share: $3,673,144 (20.5 percent)
Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium-Illinois Basin will determine the ability, safety, and capacity of geological reservoirs to store carbon dioxide in deep coal seams, mature oil fields, deep saline reservoir formations, and organic-rich shales of the Illinois Basin. The consortium plans to conduct six small-scale sequestration field tests in depleted oil and gas fields, saline reservoirs, and unmineable coal seams to assess the ability of the reservoirs to sequester a portion of the 276 million tons of carbon dioxide emitted annually from fixed sources in the Illinois Basin. The project will be led by the University of Illinois-Illinois State Geological Survey.
Total Project Cost: $19,777,433
DOE Share: $14,258,105
Partner Share: $5,519,328 (27.9 percent)
Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership plans to conduct at least three small-scale carbon dioxide injection field tests in the region’s deep geologic reservoirs, which have more than 200 years of storage capacity, to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of geologic sequestration systems. The partnership will also conduct small-scale terrestrial sequestration field tests to demonstrate measurement techniques associated with carbon storage and will monitor how carbon credits can be traded in voluntary greenhouse gas markets. Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio, heads the Midwest Partnership, which covers Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Total Project Cost: $18,067,378
DOE Share: $14,299,996
Partner Share: $3,767,382 (20.9 percent)
Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership will define the potential for storing carbon dioxide in three field sequestration validation tests in three target geologic formations: enhanced oil recovery stacked reservoirs, coal seams, and saline reservoirs. The region covers Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and southeast Texas. The partnership is led by Southern States Energy Board, Norcross, Ga.
Total Project Cost: $19,975,044
DOE Share: $14,294,555
Partner Share: $5,680,489 (28.4 percent)
Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon Sequestration will conduct five field tests (three geologic, two terrestrial) to validate the most promising carbon sequestration technologies and infrastructure concepts. The partnership proposes to conduct geologic tests in Utah, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as region-wide terrestrial analysis. The tests represent a variety of carbon sink targets, including deep saline sequestration, enhanced oil recovery and sequestration, enhanced coalbed methane production, and geologic sequestration tests combined with terrestrial tests. The Southwest Partnership includes the states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and portions of Texas, Wyoming, and Arizona. The project will be coordinated by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Total Project Cost: $17,875,000
DOE Share: $14,299,999
Partner Share: $3,575,000 (20 percent)
Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership will conduct four technology validation field trials and two investigations of carbon sequestrations concepts. The field trials will involve storage of carbon dioxide, comprehensive monitoring, and mitigation in depleted oil and gas reservoirs, unmineable coal seams and restoration of wetlands. The Plains partnership includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, along with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The project will be led by the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND.
Total Project Cost: $21,461,549
DOE Share: $14,300,000
Partner Share: $7,161,549 (33.4 percent)
West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership will conduct two carbon dioxide storage tests in California and one in Arizona related to carbon dioxide storage in depleting gas reservoirs and saline formations; assess the storage potential for two additional geologic formations; conduct terrestrial sequestration pilot projects in Lake County, Oregon, and Shasta County, California; and convey results through a variety of means such as public meetings, conference papers, and the web. States involved include California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, the western portion of Arizona, and the Canadian province of British Columbia. The project is led by the California Energy Commission.
Total Project Cost: $29,931,646
DOE Share: $14,300,000
Partner Share: $15,631,646 (52.2 percent)
The network of regional partnerships includes more than 240 organizations in 40 U.S. states, three Indian nations, and four Canadian provinces. The collective data generated by the partnerships has been integrated into an information gateway called NATCARB, developed by the University of Kansas, to consolidate geologic and terrestrial data on sequestration sites.
DOE plans to officially present the awards to the partnerships later this summer. Results from this phase of testing will outline possible deployment opportunities for carbon sequestration technologies throughout the nation. DOE will then determine whether a third phase is necessary to support the FutureGen initiative.