DOE Unveils Carbon Infrastructure Funding
The U.S. Department of Energy has announced $251 million in funding for 12 projects to expand carbon dioxide transportation and storage infrastructure. The projects will reportedly be funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law to help reduce CO2 emissions from power generation and industrial opportunities.
According to the release, these projects will also provide new economic opportunities and help the administration achieve a goal of having a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. Additionally, the DOE announced a five-year $2.25 billion funding opportunity for the “continuous development of commercial-scale carbon storage infrastructure.”
“Less pollution, cleaner air and more jobs are the upshots of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to historic clean energy investments, DOE is building out the infrastructure needed to slash harmful carbon pollution from industry and the power sector, revitalize local economies, and unlock enormous public health benefits.”
A total of nine projects, totaling $242 million, were selected to support the development of new, expanded and large-scale carbon storage projects. Each project will reportedly have the capacity to store 50 or more million metric tons of CO2.
The projects are anticipated to focus on Phase 3 of the Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM)’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Initiative. All applicants were required to submit Community Benefits Plans in order to detail how the project will advance quality jobs, environmental justice and community partnership.
A few of the projects awarded funding include:
To perform detailed engineering design studies for the regional CO2 pipeline networks, three projects were selected for a total of $9 million in funding, including:
These studies will reportedly help develop methods for efficient and safe transportation of captured CO2 from sources like power plants, ethanol facilities and other industrial operations. The focus will primarily be on “carbon transport costs, transport network configurations, and technical and commercial considerations that support broad efforts to develop and deploy carbon capture, conversion, and storage at commercial scale.”
The DOE has also announced the re-opening of its $2.25 billion Carbon Storage Validation and Testing funding opportunity, which has been modified to fit a broader scope of applicants.
The modifications include the allowance of storage complex feasibility, in addition to the site characterization, permitting and construction stages of product development. The opportunity will also expand the definition of large-scale storage and allow for additional storage options.
Applicants are required to explain how projects would deliver economic and environmental benefits to decrease negative impacts; conduct community and stakeholder agreement; incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and promote workforce development and quality jobs.
Emphasizing engagement with communities, the selected projects will be required to develop and implement strategies to ensure community and worker benefits. Applications are due by July 6.
Recent DOE News
Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a list of new standards for coal and natural gas-fired plants to address carbon pollution. The standards would reportedly avoid up to 617 million metric tons of CO2 emissions through 2042, the equivalent to the emissions of 137 million passenger vehicles.
In the same announcement, the EPA reported that it signed a memorandum of understanding with the DOE, agreeing to “support grid reliability and resiliency at every stage as the agency advances efforts to reduce pollution, protect public health, and deliver environmental and economic benefits for all.”
The EPA also reports that the technology-based standards in the proposed rule, which will determine how to most cost-effectively meet the proposed standards and emissions guidelines, include:
In a separate study, the EPA projects that these standards and the third phase of NSPS could reduce 407 million metric tons worth of CO2 emissions. These proposed standards reportedly reflect the best system of emission reduction to improve the emissions performance of the sources.
The EPA also says it has considered technologies such as CSS and adopting “highly efficient generation technologies.”
According to research from the EPA, installation of controls like CSS for coal and gas plants, and low-GHG hydrogen co-firing for gas plants, are the most affordable for plants that operate at a larger capacity, frequently, or for long periods of time.