Tag Archive for 'Carbon capture'

Tri-State to help support carbon capture R&D at Basin plant

Dryforksta250Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station (Gillette, Wyo.) will host a new research facility underwritten by the state of Wyoming with help from Tri-State and other electric cooperatives to develop commercially viable uses for carbon dioxide produced by power plants.

Tri-State is a Class A member of Basin Electric and also shares ownership in the Bismarck, N.D.-based G&T’s Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyo.

“We are making an investment in the future of coal,” Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said in announcing the plans for the new Integrated Test Center on Oct. 8. “The research at the ITC will lead to new opportunities in petrochemicals and other commercial uses.

Wyoming, the nation’s leading coal-producing state, is financing 75 percent of the $20 million project. Tri-State and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association have also pledged significant contributions to the project.

“This facility allows us to provide the same leadership in research and to do all we can to make sure the coal industry can continue to serve Wyoming and the country for many years to come,” said Mead.

Dry Fork Station is one of a number of coal-based generation facilities in Basin’s generation fleet that supplies power to its member cooperatives, including Tri-State.

The XPRIZE Foundation has agreed to be one of the first tenants in the Integrated Test Center. The international Philanthropic group recently announced a $20 million global competition to encourage development of new uses for CO2.

The ITC will be completed in time to host the final phase of the Carbon XPRIZE, which is scheduled to begin in late 2017.

Seismic testing team makes waves near Craig Station

Near Craig, Colo., the Rocky Mountain Carbon Capture and Sequestration team is researching the potential for carbon dioxide storage underground, or sequestration. The project will evaluate the sequestration potential of deep saline aquifers on a large, Laramide-age structure south of Craig.

The project is important due to the location of Craig Station and has regional implications because the Entrada and Dakota formations are widespread in the Rocky Mountains and Colorado Plateau. Given the rock formations’ size, it conceivably could serve as a regional sequestration sink for future power plants, natural gas processing plants, cement plants, oil shale development and other industries that are a significant part of western Colorado’s economy.

The team completed seismic testing last month on potential well sites near Craig Station and Trapper Mine. Receivers, called geophones, are installed at the surface to register echoes from geological layers.  To create the echoes, or waves, special “vibraseis” trucks are used. The trucks are equipped with large pads that send vibrations through the earth.

To handle the winter conditions, dozers, owned and operated by a local construction company, were used to clear the snow from the lines and position the vibraseis vehicles. The construction company also provided tracked trucks called Haaglunds to carry the seismograph and cables and snowmobiles for moving people around in off-road conditions.

The next step is to assimilate this data, along with data collected by the Colorado Geologic Survey from wells previously drilled in the area, to create a geologic model of the subsurface. This will allow the University of Utah to develop computer models simulating injection of CO2 into the site in three perspective sandstone formations at depths ranging from 7,000’ to 9,500’ below surface. Later in the summer a well will be drilled to a depth of 9,600’ gathering detailed rock, fluid and petrophysical data from the site.

Project partners include Colorado Geological Survey, Arizona Geological Survey, Utah Geological Survey, New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, Tri-State G&T and Schlumberger Carbon Services.

Carbon sequestration project near Craig moves forward

Tri-State is a partner in a coalition that is studying geologic formations in western Colorado for their ability to sequester carbon dioxide underground.  If successful, this test site could potentially serve as a regional sequestration site for power plants, gas processing plants, oil shale production and other industries that are a significant part of western Colorado’s economy.  The Craig Daily Press recently profiled this project.

Zach Logan, a field assistant with Colorado Geology Survey, takes a reading on a hillside last year along Moffat County Road 33, north of Hamilton. Recently, a study for a carbon sequestration project has gained more information, which will help determine if the area is suitable for holding carbon dioxide in saline aquifers thousands of feet underground.

More than 10 months ago, a team of nine geologists spread across the mountains south of Craig and began gathering data critical to determining if the area would be suitable for an experimental process known as carbon sequestration.

Although those geologists left the area in the middle of the summer, their work is continuing into the winter months as part of the three-year project, which has recently been spurred by new information and plans to gather more geological readings, said Vince Matthews, director of the Colorado Geological Survey.

Carbon sequestration is the process by which carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and other sources are captured and injected into the ground.

The three-year research project is being done to see if sandstone reservoir rock formations thousands of feet underground can hold captured carbon dioxide, Matthews said.

Read more about the project

Tri-State recognized for GHG Management Roadmap

Tri-State’s Mac McLennan, Lee Boughey and Barbara Walz were honored recently as recipients of EPRI‘s Technology Transfer Award for the association’s leadership in education and information exchange of technology and research results related to the development of its Greenhouse Gas Management Roadmap.
As part of its ongoing comprehensive risk identification and analysis strategy, in 2009, Tri-State initiated an enterprise-wide effort to assess its ability to manage the risks associated with potential greenhouse gas emissions constraints. The result of these efforts was the Greenhouse Gas Management Roadmap that serves as an internal planning tool and was communicated to policymakers, the association’s member cooperatives and numerous other stakeholders. The award recognizes Tri-State for the successful collaborations with EPRI.

The effort involved almost every organization within Tri-State, according to Lee Boughey, senior manager, communications and public affairs. “We developed a comprehensive Roadmap that identified our technology strategies and compiled all the different initiatives, assessments and studies into one plan,” Boughey said. Tri-State drew heavily on information and tools developed by EPRI to help shape its Roadmap. It used EPRI’s PRISM analysis, which assesses how the electricity sector can reduce greenhouse gases, as well as a site-specific greenhouse gas emissions inventory that EPRI completed in 2007. Tri-State also based the Roadmap on many EPRI projects with which it is involved, including carbon capture and sequestration and renewables technologies.

One example of Tri-State’s work with EPRI is the association’s hosting of a major study on integrating concentrated solar power technology with an existing coal plant.

EPRI’s Tom Wilson, who has worked closely with Tri-State on many climate change projects, notes, “I think it’s a wonderful example of how a company took the initiative to use EPRI information. We have so much information here that it’s sometimes overwhelming. We’re really impressed with how they were able to pull this together and communicate their strategy.” Tri-State believes its Roadmap is a living document that will evolve over time, and that the success of the Roadmap’s objectives is strongly tied to EPRI.

“Through the EPRI research program, we can participate and have access to cutting-edge information on energy technology and greenhouse gas management,” said Barbara Walz, vice president of environmental. “While we created the roadmap internally, the EPRI portfolio is an enabler for us to be able to do much of the work. EPRI is an invaluable partner in helping us achieve our mission.”