Wyoming Integrated Test Center Announces Second Partnership on Large-Scale CCS Pilot Project

Wyoming Integrated Test Center Announces Second Partnership on Large-Scale CCS Pilot Project

University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research listed the ITC as their preferred testing site on their U.S. DOE Phase II funding application.

Cheyenne, WY – The Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) announced today that the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has signed a lease to use a portion the ITC’s large test bay as part of CAER’s Phase II application of the Fossil Fuel Large-Scale Pilots funding opportunity. 

CAER was selected as one of nine Phase I grant recipients and is currently finalizing their Phase II application. CAER has validated their heat-integrated solvent-based system during a previous DOE-funded project and hopes to obtain one of two $50 million grants to design, construct, and operate a 10MWe pilot project. If CAER is the recipient of a Phase III grant, they will host this large-scale pilot at the ITC.

“We are excited to work with CAER and provide them with space at the ITC to continue to prove their technology. Partnerships like this highlight that carbon capture research and development is moving forward; and successful demonstration of large-scale projects gets us one step closer to commercial deployment of these innovative technologies,” said Jason Begger, Executive Director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, the managing entity for the ITC. “The ITC is a great option for researchers looking to test these large-scale projects. As the only facility in the United States that allows for testing carbon management technologies at this scale, the ITC continues to gain attention from the CCUS community and we are happy to have Wyoming host these projects.”

“We look forward to partnering with the Wyoming Integrated Test Center to advance our groundbreaking CO2 capture research and development,” said Kunlei Liu, Associate Director for Research at CAER and an Associate Professor in UK’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Over the past decade, our research team has made great strides in improving this technology at the bench-scale and pilot-scale. It is time to take our technology toward the next step in the commercialization process with this large-scale pilot project, and we have identified a partner in Wyoming that shares our passion for seeing this work come to fruition.”

Phase II applications will be considered in early 2019, with Phase III awards tentatively scheduled to be announced in Summer 2020. If CAER advances to the third and final phase of the process, they would have up to five years to design, build and operate the project. 

The ITC currently has several other tenants slated to test their carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technologies at the facility. Five teams competing for the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE will be completing their research onsite through 2020. Additionally, in April 2018 it was announced that Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) will test their solid sorbent capture technology at the ITC.

Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR) has also listed the ITC as their preferred testing site on their Phase II funding application for this Fossil Fuel Large-Scale Pilot funding opportunity. If both MTR and CAER move forward, there is sufficient space available at the ITC to host both teams.
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About the ITC
The ITC is a public-private partnership designed to foster the next generation of energy technology. The ITC provides space for researchers to test Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies using actual coal-based flue gas from the Dry Fork Station near Gillette. 
In 2014, with the support and encouragement of Governor Matt Mead, the Wyoming State Legislature allocated $15 million in funding for the design, construction and operation of an integrated test center to study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions from a Wyoming coal-based power plant. An additional $5 million commitment from private industry was required under the appropriation, which has since been secured from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in addition to $1 million from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is providing additional in-kind contributions including engineering and construction management services at the Dry Fork Station host site, which is jointly owned by Basin Electric and the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.
The ITC is one of a handful of such facilities around the world and only the second one in the United States. While many carbon capture technologies are being developed and studied in laboratory settings, the ITC will be one of the few research and testing facilities at an operating coal-fired powered plant. The ITC allows for real world testing at an active power plant and alleviates typical concerns over being able to transfer technology from a lab to a plant.

About University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research  
Since 1977, the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has served as one of the nation’s premier energy research and development institutes, collaborating with companies and government agencies to help maximize Kentucky’s – and the nation’s – energy resources.
CAER investigates energy technologies to improve the environment; contributes to technically sound policies related to coal, energy and the environment; adds to the teaching and instruction aim of UK by educating students from pre-college to postgraduate levels and being involved in labor force development for Kentucky; promotes UK’s objective of developing and benefiting from its intellectual property with a balance between the publication of scientific results and patenting; and provides public service through scientific education and its energy-related competencies.