The Carbon Corner - Issue #65

Merry Christmas! As we celebrate this festive season, let's take a moment to explore some exciting developments in sustainability and innovation. From California's first environmental review of a carbon capture project to Wyoming's ambitious carbon storage hub, and Texas' groundbreaking carbon capture technology on a container ship, these stories reflect the ongoing efforts to combat climate change and pave the way for a more sustainable future. Join us in unwrapping these inspiring updates and discovering how they're shaping the path towards a greener world.

U.S. Invests $890 Million in Cutting-Edge Carbon Capture Projects at Power Plants

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) is granting up to $890 million to three coal and natural gas-fired power plants, with the aim of showcasing carbon capture, transport, and storage technologies to curb emissions from these facilities. These projects, situated in California, North Dakota, and Texas, have the potential to slash 7.75 million metric tons of emissions from these power plants each year. This funding is part of the OCED's Carbon Capture Demonstration Projects Program, launched in 2022, with a $2.5 billion budget, focused on accelerating carbon management technologies, especially integrated carbon capture, transport, and storage systems that can be replicated in various industrial settings.

The program is financed by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which earmarks around $6.5 billion over five years for carbon management initiatives. The selected projects include the Baytown Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project in Texas, targeting carbon capture from a natural gas power plant; Project Tundra in North Dakota, which plans to capture carbon from a coal-fired power plant; and the Sutter Decarbonization Project in California, which seeks to minimize freshwater usage by utilizing an air-cooling system in a carbon capture setup.

The funding allocations range from up to $270 million for Baytown, capable of capturing 2 million metric tons of CO2 annually, to $350 million for Project Tundra, with a 4 million metric ton annual capacity, and up to $270 million for the Sutter project, aiming for 1.75 million metric tons of CO2 capture yearly. These projects play a crucial role in the U.S.'s efforts to achieve a net-zero emissions economy as part of President Biden's ambitious plan, particularly by reducing emissions from the power sector, which contributes significantly to the nation's carbon footprint.

Carbon Capture Pilot Project Aims to Revolutionize Maritime Emissions Reduction

Carbon Ridge, in collaboration with Crowley and support from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance (META) program, is embarking on a groundbreaking project. This venture entails deploying Carbon Ridge's innovative second-generation carbon capture technology on Crowley's Storm international container ship. The project will involve engineering, manufacturing, and integrating a small-capacity version of Carbon Ridge's full-scale carbon capture system. During the trial, the technology's effectiveness will be tested and optimized in real maritime conditions, both at the port and eventually at sea.

The carbon capture system will be housed in two 40-foot container units on the vessel's main deck, with an additional 20-foot ISO-certified tank for storing the captured liquid CO2. It's projected that the pilot project will capture 1 metric ton of CO2 daily from the ship's main engine.

Carbon Ridge's OCCS technology has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from commercial shipping by up to 95%. The technology allows for seamless integration into vessel exhaust systems and significantly reduces process equipment size compared to conventional CCS technologies. Carbon Ridge is also collaborating with Scorpio Tankers on onboard carbon capture for maritime vessels, further advancing the development of this promising technology.

Frontier Carbon Solutions Receives Landmark Carbon Storage Permits in Wyoming

Frontier Carbon Solutions, a leading carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) project developer and a Tailwater Capital LLC portfolio company, has secured the first three Class VI Underground Injection Control (UIC) permits issued by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). These permits mark a significant milestone for Frontier's Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub in southwest Wyoming, making it one of the largest and most advanced carbon storage hubs in North America, with over 100,000 acres of leased pore space and 550 million metric tons of CO2 storage capacity. The Sweetwater Hub aims to provide safe and permanent geologic sequestration of CO2 for emitters in the Mountain West region.

Frontier plans to complete construction of the three Class VI wells in 2024, with CO2 sequestration to follow soon after. The company is also preparing to submit six additional Class VI UIC permit applications to the Wyoming DEQ in early 2024. The Sweetwater Hub's strategic location, within 25 miles of significant industrial emitters accounting for 15% of Wyoming's annual CO2 emissions, positions it as a vital solution for carbon management in the region. Frontier is working on CO2 capture and transportation infrastructure and has begun front-end engineering and design work on a CO2 rail transload facility at the hub. This achievement reinforces Frontier's commitment to carbon storage and sustainability, supported by Tailwater Capital.

Frontier's track record in CCUS project development, along with partnerships and awards, solidifies its position as a leader in the carbon capture and storage industry, contributing to Wyoming's prominence as a carbon management destination.

California's First Carbon Capture Project Faces Environmental Review in Kern County

California's Kern County Planning and Natural Resources Department has released a draft environmental review of the Carbon TerraVault I project, marking the state's first environmental evaluation of a carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) initiative. The project is spearheaded by an oil producer aiming to profitably reduce greenhouse gas emissions and store them permanently underground at the Elk Hills Oil Field. The draft review's release initiates a 45-day public review period, including workshops with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Subsequently, county staff will propose conditions, restrictions, and mitigations for potential approval by Kern's Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.

The project's specific details were not disclosed, but it's expected to have significant and unavoidable impacts on air quality, water supplies, energy, geology, soils, and various resources. This marks the third CCS review of its kind in the United States and aligns with Kern County's goal to become a national center for carbon capture and sequestration. The CCS project aims to inject supercritical carbon dioxide deep into geologic formations for permanent storage.

The project intends to sequester approximately 48 million tons of CO2 annually, starting with gas from its field gas production system. Six Class VI injection wells are planned, with one possibly receiving CO2 from a hydrogen facility and direct-air capture.

In addition to the injection wells, the project will include monitoring wells to detect CO2 leaks and seismic activity. The environmental review is mandated because the project requires zone changes and conditional use permits. It represents a significant step in Kern County's efforts to contribute to carbon management, even as the technology advances and becomes a new land use planning issue.

Schaper Energy Consulting is a professional engineering firm offering carbon strategy services to CCS site developers. Check out some examples of our projects here:

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We hope you enjoyed reading this week and hope to see you back next week for more!

Schaper Energy Consulting

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