Hoeven Working to Ensure DOE Awards $10 Million for Final Phase of Project Tundra's Design Study, Promptly Funds 3rd Phase of Carbonsafe Initiative

Senator Brings Heads of DOE’s Fossil Energy & Clean Coal Programs to Learn about EERC’s Work Firsthand, Has Secured $16 Million of Funding for Project to Date

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today brought U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials to North Dakota to highlight the efforts of the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND) and its partners. Specifically, the senator is working to ensure the DOE:

  • Awards $10 million for the final phrase of the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study for Project Tundra, a post-combustion technology to retrofit existing power plants, being led by the EERC and Minnkota Power, as well as BNI Coal and Allete Clean Energy. $1.4 million of the funds would directly support the EERC’s work.
  • Releases the funding opportunity for the third phase of the Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative promptly. The program supports the development of commercial-scale CO2 storage facilities, an essential element of Project Tundra. Having the funding in place will help ensure permitting, financing and construction can proceed in time for the project to benefit from the 45Q tax credit.

Accordingly, Hoeven arranged the visit by Steven Winberg, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, and Lou Hrkman, Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Clean Coal and Carbon Management, as part of his efforts to bolster DOE’s support for the EERC and help advance the development of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies. Prior to today’s visit, the senator worked as a member of the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee to ensure the DOE had sufficient funds in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 to support the EERC, having helped secure approximately $16 million in federal funding for Project Tundra to date, and he continues his efforts to maintain robust funding for similar programs in the coming years.

“We’re on the verge of a real-world demonstration of Project Tundra’s capabilities, a game-changing CCUS technology,” Hoeven said. “By bringing Assistant Secretary Winberg and DAS Hrkman to North Dakota, we are helping ensure the DOE continues to fund the EERC’s engineering and design study for this technology, which is nearly in its final stage, as well as the initiative to develop geologic emissions storage. Once the study is completed, that will enable the implementation of the technology at the Milton R. Young Station, allowing up to 90 percent of CO2 emissions to be captured from the station’s Unit 2 generator. Ultimately, the broad use of such technology is a win both for consumers, who will continue to have access to affordable energy, and for environmental stewardship.” 

In addition, Hoeven is advancing legislation to make the legal, tax and regulatory reforms that will help make CCUS commercially-viable. His efforts include:

  • The Carbon Capture Modernization Act, Hoeven’s bipartisan legislation to modernize the 48A tax credit for clean coal facilities to better support CO2 capture retrofit projects, like Project Tundra.
  • The CO2 Regulatory Certainty Act, Hoeven’s legislation to make the Section 45Q tax credit more accessible for CCUS projects by ensuring that Treasury regulations accurately reflect the EPA’s requirements for secure geological storage of CO2.
  • Cosponsoring legislation like:
    • The Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, bipartisan legislation that he recently helped pass through the Senate. The bill would incentivize the development of facilities for CCUS and direct air capture, as well as pipelines to transport captured CO2.
    • The Enhancing Fossil Fuel Energy Carbon Technology (EFFECT) Act, which was introduced by Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The bill would establish four new DOE programs focused on coal and natural gas technology, carbon storage, carbon utilization and carbon removal.