Hoeven Announces $400K Grant for Carbon Capture and Storage Research at UND's EERC

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, who serves on the U.S. Senate Energy and Appropriations Committees, today announced that the National Energy Technology Laboratory at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $400,000 grant to the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND). The funds will support the development of a safe and efficient intelligent monitoring system for the geological storage of carbon dioxide. The proposed system will provide real-time risk analysis and decision-making support.

“North Dakota’s vibrant energy industry is supported by innovative research at our universities that help our businesses produce more energy with better environmental stewardship,” Hoeven said. “Today’s award will help continue the important work of the EERC to develop and improve Carbon Capture and Sequestration technologies, lowering the cost of the practice, while also ensuring it is safe and commercially viable.”

Today’s award comes in addition to a $2.5 million federal grant DOE announced last week for similar research at UND. The university is partnering with Computer Modeling Group, Schlumberger, Petroleum Technology Research Centre and the CETER Group on the project. The partners are providing nearly $700,000 in private funds to support the research.

Last month, Hoeven announced that the EERC won a $25,000 award in the General Electric (GE) and Statoil joint competition for unconventional energy innovations. The EERC was one of five winners in the companies’ inaugural Open Innovations Challenge, which sought to address the use of sand in unconventional operations. The EERC answered the challenge by developing a lightweight, locally sourced ore that is 40 percent lighter than the sand currently being used in hydraulic fracturing. The award made the EERC eligible for additional funding from an available discretionary prize pool of $375,000 for potential development or commercialization.

Further, Hoeven announced in May that the DOE had entered into a two-year Cooperative Agreement with the EERC to conduct research and develop technologies to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Last summer, the senator arranged a meeting between Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, EERC Director Tom Erickson and Associate Director for Research John Harju to request the Collaborative Agreement.