Hoeven Continues Work to Advance Project Tundra, Clean Coal Technologies

Senator Meets with Minnkota Power Leaders

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today met with leaders of Minnkota Power to continue advancing Project Tundra, a technology project to retrofit existing power plants to capture carbon dioxide. The project is being developed by Allete Clean Energy, Minnkota Power and BNI Coal in partnership with the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND).

“North Dakota is leading the way in developing clean coal technologies, which hold the promise of reducing or eliminating emissions at our existing power plants in a cost-effective manner,” said Hoeven. “We’ve worked hard to advance Project Tundra and to secure resources and support to enable this innovative project to advance. Investing in these technologies will help us to produce more energy from our coal reserves while also improving environmental stewardship.”

Last year, the senator worked as a member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee to provide $6 million in funding for Project Tundra. Hoeven has since secured FY2018 funding to help develop these technologies, including funding for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Research & Development, as well as $35 million for Post-Combustion Coal Technologies like Project Tundra and $24 million to develop Supercritical CO2 Technologies like the Allam Cycle, a project to develop technology for new coal and natural gas power plants that uses CO2 to increase efficiency and allow emissions to be captured.

In addition, Hoeven is advancing his CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act, legislation that aligns tax guidelines with existing federal regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) project developers can use the Section 45Q tax credit. By accelerating work on CCS projects, this bill will help to provide one of the energy technologies needed to utilize America’s coal resources. 

Hoeven also secured regulatory primacy for North Dakota over Class VI injection wells, which are used for the geologic or long-term storage of CO2, the first such approval in the nation. This authority will help advance CCS projects across the state. The EPA’s public comment period for the proposed change closed last year, and Hoeven continues working with the agency to finalize the state’s application.

These efforts are further bolstered by Hoeven’s bill to extend the refined coal tax credit. The credit incentivizes power plants to pre-treat or refine coal to improve efficiency and decrease emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury.