The Infrastructure Element of DOE's Carbon Sequestration Program is focused on research and development (R&D) initiatives to advance geologic CO2 storage toward commercialization. DOE determined early in the program's development that addressing CO2 mitigation on a regional level is the most effective way to address differences in geology, climate, population density, infrastructure, and socioeconomic development. This element includes the following efforts designed to support the development of regional infrastructure for carbon capture and storage (CCS).
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- Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSP) – This initiative established the basic structure and initial findings for CCS resources throughout the United States and portions of Canada that are being further enhanced by additional small- and large-scale CO2 injection projects designed to address specific applied research related to progressing both geologic and terrestrial storage. In addition, the RCSP began studying possible regulations and infrastructure requirements that would be needed should carbon capture and storage (CCS) be deployed on a commercial basis. The seven RCSPs are focused on CCS opportunities within their specific regions of the United States and portions of Canada.
- Geologic Site Characterization – Efforts to characterize storage formations and reduce uncertainty associated with capacity resource estimates in North America. Additional efforts include developing the necessary framework through identification of necessary regulations, stationary CO2 sources, and any existing infrastructure, to validate and deploy carbon sequestration technologies. Much of this information is available in the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographic Information System (NATCARB).
- Small-Scale Field Testing – CO2 injection tests in different types of geologic formations and depositional environments that include the efforts of the RCSPs, as well as other upcoming field projects tests are focused on contributing to the understanding of CO2 behavior and migration in the full variety of depositional environments/classes of storage formations. Small-scale tests involving relatively small (<500,000 million metric tons CO2) injection volumes aimed specifically at understanding CO2 injectivity, storage capacity, and CO2 storage in terrestrial systems.
Large-Scale Field Testing – CO2 injection tests in different types of geologic formations and depositional environments that include the efforts of the RCSPs and other field projects focused on contributing to the understanding of CO2 behavior and migration in the full variety of storage formations. These activities involve large-scale (>1 million metric tons CO2) injection volumes aimed to demonstrate that CO2storage sites have the potential to store regional CO2 emissions safely, permanently, and economically for hundreds of years.
- Knowledge Sharing – This section summarizes NETL efforts related to the development of human capital, stakeholder networking, best practice manual development, carbon mitigation plans, and public outreach and education throughout the United States.
ARRA Efforts to Promote Infrastructure Development
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided funding for two efforts that complement the existing Carbon Sequestration Program's efforts to develop CCS infrastructure in the United States. The efforts include the establishment of seven CCS training centers and 10 geologic site characterization projects throughout the United States. The seven CCS training centers were provided approximately $1 million each through 2012 to support the development of professional training classes and academic curricula for scientists, engineers, lawyers, business professionals, and other individuals involved in CCS project development. The 9 site characterization projects were awarded approximately $100 million to characterize high priority geologic storage formations that have the potential for future commercial-scale storage projects.