Hoeven Announces $1.4 Million Award to EERC for New CCUS Monitoring Project at Great Plains Synfuels Plant

Project Builds on Senator’s Nearly 15 Years of Effort to Crack the Code on CCUS, Advances the Largest Coal-Based CCUS Project in the World

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today announced that he has secured a $1.4 million award to the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) for a new carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) monitoring project at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant that is key to the commercially-viable implementation of CCUS technology. The monitoring technology advances the expansion of CCUS at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, which would make the facility:

  • The largest coal-based CCUS project utilizing geologic storage in the world.
  • The first project in the U.S. to utilize both enhanced oil recovery and geologic storage. 

As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to fund and advance the award under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) longstanding cooperative agreement with EERC, having repeatedly raised the priority with DOE officials, including the Secretary of Energy. 

“We worked to secure this $1.4 million award to EERC because it will advance needed monitoring technologies that will play a central role in the commercially-viable implementation of CCUS,” said Hoeven. “This project dovetails with plans to expand CCUS at the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, which would make the facility the largest coal-based CCUS project utilizing geologic storage, as well as the first in the U.S. to utilize both enhanced oil recovery and geologic storage. We started 15 years ago to crack the code on CCUS, and today’s announcement is another example of how North Dakota is leading the way in developing this critical energy technology.”

Specifically, EERC will evaluate technologies to improve, and reduce the cost of, the monitoring and verification of CO2 injected for geologic storage. Doing so:

  • Will better enable project developers to utilize the 45Q tax credit, one of the most important incentives for CCUS projects. 
    • Hoeven worked to get the 45Q carbon capture tax credit implemented in a way that makes CCUS projects more commercially-viable.
    • The senator also secured an Internal Revenue Service ruling ensuring that coal gasification facilities, such as DGC, are eligible for the 45Q tax credit.
  • Builds on Hoeven’s efforts for nearly 15 years to crack the code on CCUS, including:
    • As governor, advancing a bill through the state legislature to create a regulatory framework for carbon storage under the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The state also enacted legislation that granted ownership of the pore space to the owner of the overlying surface estate.
    • As U.S. Senator, securing approval of the state’s application for regulatory primacy over Class VI wells, which are used for geologic storage of CO2. North Dakota is one of only two states to have this regulatory authority.

Moving forward, Hoeven is prioritizing:  

  • Front end investment in technology development, including bolstering the DOE-EERC cooperative agreement.
  • Loan guarantees from DOE and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which will help project developers secure financing to build the equipment and infrastructure needed to capture and store CO2.