The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Wyoming’s Integrated Test Center in Gillette $64 million in research funding toward a carbon capture project.
The former Wyoming power plant will also host of one of the two carbon capture projects. The announcement comes weeks after winners were announced for the Carbon XPRIZE competition, where two teams — CarbonBuilt operating out of the Integrated Test Center and CarbonCure out of Alberta, Canada — split a $15 million cash prize after the five-year project.
The department awarded Membrane Technology and Research $51,699,939 after it announced it would be awarding $99 million to two projects for Phase III of the carbon capture project.
“I am delighted that Membrane Technology and Research has been selected to move forward in this process, and that Wyoming has been chosen to host this important demonstration of cutting edge carbon capture technology,” Gov. Mark Gordon said in a news release. “This is exactly the type of research that was envisioned when the ITC was developed and Wyoming will continue to support these efforts.”
Membrane Technology and Research chose the center as its testing site during Phase II of the project. The two sides have been working collaboratively since 2018.
“We could not be more thrilled for MTR and we are excited to welcome them onsite as they start working on this next phase of testing,” Jason Begger, managing director of the Integrated Test Center, said in a statement. “At this scale, we will be able to demonstrate carbon capture technology at a sufficient level to demonstrate to utilities the next step can be a commercial version.”
The center is located on the site of the Dry Fork Station power plant in Gillette.
With the cheap cost of natural gas and a push for renewable energy, coal production has been down 30% since last year, causing Wyoming’s budget to suffer enormously.
Still, the state has doubled down with support for the coal industry and is banking on carbon capture to help keep coal production going by restricting the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants released into the air.
CarbonBuilt was awarded $7.5 million for its work on using flue gas from power plants or cement factories into concrete mixtures, reducing the carbon footprint of cement by 50%.
CarbonCure was also awarded $7.5 million in the Alberta, Canada, track of the contest for its work with concrete technology.
Later this year, the Integrated Test Center plans to start a $16 million project, according to Begger, and a collaboration project with Japan and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.