In 2003, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded cooperative agreements to seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs), which are tasked to determine the best geologic storage approaches and apply technologies to safely and permanently store CO2 for their specific regions. Geographical differences in fossil fuel use and storage opportunities across North America dictate regional approaches to storage of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The RCSPs are focusing on the carbon capture and storage (CCS) opportunities within their specific regions, while collectively building an effective and robust nationwide initiative. The RCSP Initiative is being implemented in the following three phases:
- Characterization Phase (2003–2005): Initial characterization of their region’s potential to store CO2 in different geologic formations.
- Validation Phase (2005–2013): Validation of the most promising regional storage opportunities through a series of small-scale field projects.
- Development Phase (2008–2018+): Implementation of large-scale field testing injecting approximately 1 million metric tons of CO2 per project to confirm that CO2 injection and storage can be achieved safely, permanently, and economically.
Map depicting location of the seven RCSP regions
(mouse-over partnership names for more information)
In addition to the RCSP's efforts to implement small- and large-scale field projects, the RCSPs are also working to develop human capital, encourage stakeholder networking, develop carbon mitigation plans, and enhance public outreach and education. Through this process, each RCSP is developing a regional carbon management plan to identify the most suitable storage strategies and technologies, aid in regulatory development, and propose appropriate infrastructure for CCS commercialization within their respective regions.