Hoeven: North Dakota Leading the Way in Developing Clean Coal Technologies

Senator Outlines Efforts to Support Project Tundra & Allam Cycle, Secure Coal’s Future in Nation’s Energy Mix

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today joined a congressional panel discussion at the Lignite Energy Council’s annual meeting, where he outlined North Dakota’s leadership in developing clean coal technologies and his efforts to support projects to secure coal’s future as part of the nation’s energy mix. The senator highlighted Project Tundra, a post-combustion technology to retrofit existing power plants, and the Allam Cycle, technology for new coal and natural gas power plants that uses supercritical CO2 to increase efficiency and allow emissions to be captured. 

Last year, the senator worked to secure funding which enabled EERC to receive $6 million for Project Tundra in FY2017. As a member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to secure FY2018 funding to 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 Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Technologies like the Allam Cycle.

“Our nation’s coal industry is vital to ensuring affordable, reliable energy for our families and businesses,” Hoeven said. “North Dakota industry is leading the way in developing new technologies, and we’re working to support those efforts and to invest in the research that will help provide a true path forward for this abundant energy resource. This includes advancing the work of the EERC and our state’s energy industry to develop and demonstrate commercially-viable CCS technologies, like Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle. We also continue supporting new and existing methods that help reduce emissions and add value to coal, such as the use of refined coal, the production of synthetic natural gas and the extraction of rare earth elements.”

Project Tundra is being developed by Allete Clean Energy, Minnkota Power and BNI Coal in partnership with the Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND). The Allam Cycle is being developed by EERC, Basin Electric and Allete Inc.

Additionally, the senator 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. 

In addition, Hoeven 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.