Hoeven: Project Tundra Awarded $6 Million from Department of Energy

As Member of Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee, Senator Secured Funding in FY2017 & Helped Advance the Project’s Application

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that Project Tundra, a technology project to retrofit existing power plants to capture carbon dioxide, has been awarded $6 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Hoeven serves as a member of the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Committee and successfully included the funding for DOE’s competitive grant program in the Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations legislation. Following this, the senator secured a commitment from Energy Secretary Rick Perry to help advance pilot and demonstration efforts like Project Tundra and provided a letter of support for the project’s grant application.

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). The grant will allow the partnership to design and test the technology while also studying its feasibility to ensure that it is commercially-viable.

“Project Tundra stands as an example of the innovative work of our state’s energy industry,” Hoeven said. “This technology holds the promise of reducing or eliminating emissions at our existing power plants in a cost-effective manner, which means we can continue to have reliable and affordable energy while also advancing better environmental stewardship. That’s why we worked so hard to secure this funding at DOE and ensure that this project was selected.”

“Advancing CO2 capture technology represents an enormous opportunity for our state and nation. The funding prioritized and enabled by Senator Hoeven is an investment in bringing these breakthrough technologies one step closer to application in North Dakota. We fully support the Senator’s vision for an all-of-the-above energy future for our nation fueled by innovation,” said Mac McLennan, CEO of Minnkota Power.

“We want to thank Senator Hoeven and our entire Congressional Delegation for their hard work in creating an atmosphere in Washington, D.C., that supports the North Dakota lignite industry. Utilities and mining companies have invested more than $18 billion in the coal conversion facilities and lignite mines. The $6 million in federal money for Project Tundra will help our industry advance technologies that can capture CO2 from existing power plants and help us preserve and protect assets that provide affordable and reliable power to more than 2 million customers in North Dakota and surrounding states,” said Jason Bohrer, President and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.

Today’s grant comes as part of Hoeven’s ongoing work to support the development of new technologies to reduce emissions from both traditional and renewable energy sources. This includes commercially-viable clean coal technologies, like Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle, as well as efforts like Red Trail Energy’s project to reduce the emissions from its ethanol plant in Richardton.

To this end, Hoeven secured regulatory primacy for North Dakota over Class VI injection wells last year, which are used for the geologic or long-term storage of CO2, the first such approval in the nation. This authority will help advance carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects across the state. The effort to reduce emissions is further supported by Hoeven’s reintroduction of the CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act, legislation that aligns tax guidelines with existing federal regulations at the EPA to ensure CCS project developers can use the Section 45Q tax credit, as well as his legislation to extend the refined coal tax credit.