CarbonSAFE Rocky Mountains Phase 1: Ensuring Safe Subsurface Storage of CO2 in the Intermountain West
CarbonSAFE Rocky Mountains was a research collaboration with the goal of planning and ultimately developing a system to effectively capture and safely store carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from a coal-fired power plant in central Utah. The project was coordinated by the Energy & Geoscience Institute (EGI) at the University of Utah in partnership with the Utah Geological Survey (UGS), Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Schlumberger Carbon Services, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and PacifiCorp. The UGS led the geological characterization work. Phase I of this project was completed, but the project was not selected for progression to Phase II.
The CarbonSAFE Rocky Mountains project was one of 16 projects across the nation funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) CarbonSAFE initiative. The CarbonSAFE initiative was designed to foster the development, permitting, and construction of long-term commercial-scale (50+ million metric tons of CO2) carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems targeted to be operational by the year 2025. The UGS led the geological characterization of potential storage reservoirs and seals, such as the Navajo Sandstone and overlying Carmel Formation. The CarbonSAFE Rocky Mountains project was potentially a four-phase, nine-year program with the goal of permitting and constructing a commercial-scale CCS system at PacifiCorp’s Hunter Plant, with the Huntington Plant as a secondary option. Phase I was an 18-month pre-feasibility study of technical and regulatory requirements. Multiple surface injection sites and deep-storage reservoirs were evaluated with an emphasis on storage capacity, efficiency, and costs associated with CO2 capture, compression, transport, injection, and monitoring. The project was not progressed to Phase II.
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