NETL Net Zero Labs (NZL) Pilot Program Overview

Information is provided below on other federal lab net-zero pilot lab initiatives.

NETL has been driving innovation and delivering solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future for more than a century. Through the Net Zero Labs (NZL) pilot program, NETL plans to demonstrate a pathway to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2030 across its three campuses through a combination of increased energy efficiency, decarbonization, and CO2 removal technologies.

net zero logo

Net-zero means keeping things in balance. NETL will reach net-zero when the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the laboratory equals the amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere. We will eliminate emissions where we can by replacing older technologies with newer or cleaner technologies. Achieving net-zero means that while we will still be producing some emissions, any greenhouse gases we emit will be offset by carbon-capture technologies.

NETL’s Role in the NZL Pilot Program

  • NETL plans to implement multiple technologies and systems to reach net-zero emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Key technology focuses for the NZL pilot are carbon capture and storage, integrated energy systems, and carbon dioxide removal.

  • We will utilize world-class expertise in carbon management research and leverage the recently announced NETL Direct Air Capture (DAC) Test Center to identify technologies for onsite demonstration and accelerate their commercialization to enable widespread deployment.

  • NETL’s three distinct geographical locations in Pennsylvania, Oregon, and West Virginia will expand decarbonization efforts and advance zero-emission goals.

  • NETL will serve as an example to others in the region and play a role in fulfilling our nation’s decarbonization commitments through science and innovation.

  • Demonstrating and de-risking new decarbonization technologies will help enable economic revitalization and investment in disadvantaged communities.


Conceptual visualization of a potential direct air capture demonstration system at an NETL campus.

Net-Zero Across Multiple NETL Sites

  • Power Purchase Agreements and Partnership with Local Utilities: NETL will work with local power providers to implement power purchase agreements that incentivize carbon-free electricity production. In addition, NETL is exploring opportunities with one of its local utility companies to provide carbon-free electricity to the Morgantown Site.

  • Energy Efficiency of High Performance Computing: NETL is pursuing innovative high-performance computing hardware advances that have the potential to cut our HPC-related emissions by up to 50%.

  • Energy Efficiency Projects: Near-term infrastructure upgrade projects are focused on energy-efficient, low-emission buildings (electrification of boilers; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning; lighting; insulation; compressors).

  • On-site Power Generation: NETL will evaluate the potential to install an on-site solar array in Albany.

  • NETL DAC Test Center: Demonstrate technologies at this new facility in Pittsburgh ($25M investment) to model the carbon transport and storage infrastructure. The center will provide a foundation for further efforts to demonstrate CO2 removal technologies for capturing hard-to-decarbonize residual emissions.

  • Potential on-site Net-Negative Heat and Power: Preliminary analysis identified the potential for an on-site biomass boiler with carbon capture and storage to make the Morgantown site net negative, providing a way to offset difficult to abate emissions across the three NETL sites. This effort could provide combined heat and power to the campus, replacing the natural-gas-fired boilers for winter space heating. The system could also serve as an experimental test bed for de-risking innovative new technologies that will support the energy transformation.

  • Local/Regional Partnerships: NETL will work with regional industries, universities, and governments to foster collaborative development of regional energy infrastructure and other transformational technologies.


Researchers at work in the NETL lab in Pittsburgh, PA


NETL researchers at the Chemical Looping Laboratory in Morgantown, WV


NETL researchers at the Geoscience Lab in Albany, OR

Other Federal Lab Net-Zero Pilot Lab Initiatives


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Net Zero (NZERO) | PNNL


Idaho National Laboratory: Net-Zero - INL


The National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Net Zero World Initiative | International Activities | NREL