The federal Department of Energy has awarded the University of Wyoming $2.4 million dollars for two carbon capture studies.
The grants will be used to research the potential for commercial-scale carbon capture and storage at the Jim Bridger power plant near Rock Springs and the Dry Fork Station near Gillette.
Previous studies have identified the Rock Springs uplift as an ideal location for storing large volumes of carbon dioxide. These grants are intended to move beyond the technical specifications.
“I think there is great confidence in the subsurface storage aspect of this technology. The business cases still faces challenges,” said Kipp Coddington, director of the University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute.
Currently there is no penalty for power plants that emit carbon dioxide, so there’s little incentive for companies to invest in carbon capture. Coddington said they will be examining how the economics might work even without addition restrictions on carbon emissions.
The Wyoming projects will be competing with a dozen others for future rounds of funding, with the ultimate goal of bringing one or more projects online at a commercial scale by the mid-2020s.