Carbon dioxide capture pilot project at Wyoming ITC expected to begin this year

Construction of a Membrane Technology and Research (MTR) carbon dioxide capture pilot project at Wyoming’s Integrated Test Center (ITC) is expected to begin this fall but could be pushed back due to long lead times on equipment. The Wyoming ITC is a carbon capture and utilization testing center attached to Basin Electric's Dry Fork Station in Gillette, Wyoming. The pilot project will use the equivalent of 10 megawatts of flue gas from Dry Fork Station to continue its research.

Additionally, this spring Basin Electric will have an estimated cost for commercial-scale carbon capture technology at Dry Fork Station via a FEED (front-end engineering and design) study being conducted by MTR. Both the large-scale carbon capture pilot project and FEED study were funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Ideally, the final design, construction, and demonstration of the pilot project would have been completed prior to the start of the full–scale FEED study to incorporate lessons learned into the scaled-up design and cost estimate. However, given the timing of the DOE Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), MTR was awarded two FOAs in such a way that the full-scale FEED study will be complete prior to the pilot plant being constructed.

The pilot project consists of final design, procurement, and construction of an MTR carbon dioxide capture plant to prove the technology. Membranes have emerged as a compelling capture technology which offer distinct advantages over amine-based capture alternatives. They are simple, compact, and environmentally friendly with no emissions, requiring only electricity for operation. 

“Basin Electric believes in an all of the above energy generation strategy, utilizing multiple sources of fuel to serve our members, so this research is vital for maintaining reliability while reducing our carbon footprint,” said Jim Sheldon, Basin Electric supervisor of reliability and performance engineering.

The project is an important step toward determining if carbon capture and sequestration is feasible because analysis can be done for a lower cost than a full-scale operation. “The purpose of the pilot project is to prove the technology. It will be built, operated for a year, and then torn down since it isn’t a permanent installation – it’s a stepping stone,” said Sheldon.

Learn more about this project and others: Carbon Capture and Storage at Basin Electric

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