The U.S. Department of Energy’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative has awarded Colorado School of Mines, Carbon America, and Los Alamos National Laboratory $32.6 million for the development of a potential carbon storage hub for the Pueblo, Colorado, area.
CarbonSAFE Eos is one of nine projects the Department of Energy selected as a part of a $242 million investment to accelerate the development of large-scale, commercial carbon storage projects nationwide. These projects aim to have the capacities to securely store 50 million or more metric tons of carbon dioxide underground.
Reducing industrial emissions from hydrogen, cement, and power plant operations, as well as creating a model for community-centric carbon capture and storage (CCS), are the main goals of CarbonSAFE Eos. The project will be an example of community-centered CCS with a focus on how CCS can advance quality jobs, enable business investment, and promote environmental justice as well as community partnership in Pueblo.
The funding will support data collection, detailed site characterization, planning, permitting, and community and stakeholder engagement for the project. It will also cover training for a subsequent generation of carbon capture and storage professionals.
“Given the urgency and scale of our climate challenge, we have to accelerate the buildout of CO2 storage hubs region-by-region across the country,” said Brad Crabtree, assistant secretary for fossil energy and carbon management at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Carbon Capture Programs Could Benefit Communities
The CarbonSAFE initiative falls under the Department of Energy’s Justice40 Initiative, ensuring that 40% of benefits from federal clean energy investments go to disadvantaged communities and help enhance energy equity. If the project proceeds it will also help fund education in Colorado.
Brent Lewis, CEO of Carbon America, said the grant represents a milestone in their commitment to mitigate climate change and develop sustainable energy systems. It will collaborate with researchers at Colorado School of Mines and Los Alamos National Lab to create new possibilities for carbon capture and storage.
The project team will start technical work and pre-planning during the coming weeks with outreach activities to support community engagement for the project. Community workshops will be held for people to get more information about the project, ask questions, and know what community-centered carbon capture and storage may look like in the area.
The project will be co-led by Manika Prasad, director of the Mines Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Innovation Center, and Chris Cassle, Carbon American senior geologist. The funding was announced by the three companies during the Carbon Management Symposium, hosted by the Mines Global Energy Future Initiative.
Prasad said to meet global climate goals, a lot more than what we’re currently doing needs to be done. Large-scale carbon sequestration sites, like the one planned in Pueblo, are important in reducing millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and assisting communities in the transition towards generating zero-emissions energy.