DOE Earmarks $126M for Sequestration

More than $126.6 million was awarded to the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) and the Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP) for the U.S. Department of Energy's fifth and sixth large-scale carbon sequestration projects.

These industry partnerships, which are part of DOE's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, will conduct large-volume tests in California and Ohio to demonstrate the ability of a geologic formation to safely, permanently, and economically store more than 1 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Subject to annual appropriations from Congress, this project including the partnership's cost share is estimated to cost more than $183 million. 

"The formations to be tested during the third phase of the partnerships program are the most promising of the major geologic basins in the United States. Collectively, these formations have the potential to store more than 100 hundred years of CO2 emissions from all major point sources in North America," said Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy Jeffrey Kupfer. "Tests like these will help provide the confidence and build the infrastructure necessary to commercialize these technologies and will enable the U.S. to continue using its vast resources of coal while protecting the earth for future generations."

The new projects will demonstrate the entire CO2 injection process — pre-injection characterization, injection process monitoring, and post-injection monitoring — for large scale injections. DOE plans to invest $126.6 million in the two projects over the next 10 years, while the industry partners will provide $56.6 million in cost-shared funds to make these projects a success.

In the first stages of the projects, researchers will characterize the selected sites. Over the first 24 months, researchers and industry partners will complete the modeling, monitoring, and infrastructure improvements needed before CO2 can be injected. These efforts will establish a baseline for future monitoring after CO2 injection begins. After injection, investigators will monitor and model the fate of the CO2 to determine the effectiveness of the storage reservoir.

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