In 2003, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded cooperative agreements to seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships (RCSPs), shown in the figure below. The seven RCSPs are tasked to determine the best geologic and terrestrial 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 seven RCSPs focus on the carbon capture and storage (CCS) opportunities within their specific regions, while collectively building an effective and robust nationwide initiative. Through this process, each RCSP has developed 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.
The RCSPs are public/private partnerships comprised of more than 400 organizations covering 43 states and four Canadian provinces. They include representatives from state and local agencies, regional universities, national laboratories, non-government organizations, foreign government agencies, engineering and research firms, electric utilities, oil and gas companies, and other industrial partners. Each of the RCSPs are led by one organization that manages the RCSP activities, including the characterization efforts, planning and leading the small- and large-scale injection tests, and integrating the results. The RCSP Initiative established the foundation that is being further enhanced by additional small- and large-scale projects, addressing specific applied research on injectivity, capacity verification, and safe geologic storage practices necessary to progress toward commercialization of the technology.
Click here for an overview of the partnerships.
In addition to the RCSP efforts to implement small- and large-scale field projects, the RCSPs are also working to develop human capital, encourage stakeholder networking, support regulatory policy development, develop carbon mitigation plans, and enhance public outreach and education.
The RCSP Initiative is being implemented in three phases:
- Characterization Phase (2003-2005): Initial characterization of their region’s potential to store CO2 in different geologic formations.
- Validation Phase (2005-2011): Evaluation of promising CO2 storage opportunities through a series of small-scale (less than 500,000 metric tons CO2) field tests to develop understanding of injectivity, capacity, and storability of CO2 in the various geologic formations within a wide range of depositional environments. Experiences gained and lessons learned from this phase are being utilized to provide a foundation for implementation of the large-scale field tests in the Development Phase, develop best practices manuals (BPMs), and facilitate future CCS opportunities worldwide.
- Development Phase (2008-2018+): Implementation of large-scale field testing involving at least 1 million metric tons of CO2 per project. Tests are designed to not only investigate commercial-scale injection of CO2 but also understand the necessary regulatory, economic, liability, ownership, and public outreach efforts needed for successful CCS, and to develop the necessary human capital, knowledge base, and experience necessary to implement future CCS operations.
Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Initiative Points of Contact