Wyoming Breaks Ground For Carbon Conversion Test Center
Officials broke ground Wednesday on a new facility that will house carbon conversion experiments. The Integrated Test Center or ITC will be attached to the coal-fired Dry Fork power plant near Gillette.
The first tenants will be teams competing for the $20 million Carbon XPrize, a competition to turn carbon dioxide emissions into useful products.
“What you’re going to see is the nexus, the very kernel of what I anticipate will be a multi-billion dollar a year industry,” said Paul Bunje, with the XPrize Foundation.
Bunje added that 120 teams have already expressed interest in competing for the prize. Registration closes on July 15.
The State of Wyoming put up $15 million to build the ITC. Private companies have donated another $5 million. The hope is that if technology can be developed to use carbon emissions, it might be able to save the coal industry, which has been in decline in recent years amid growing concern about climate change.
“Never has the time been better and more urgent for good leadership to dispense hope," said Mike Easley, a Wyoming Infrastructure Authority board member.
The test center is scheduled to open in the summer of 2017.