BISMARCK, N.D. — Federal lawmakers and coal industry leaders are pushing for funding to help commercialize carbon-capture projects for old and new power plants.

North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven and industry leaders met with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz earlier this month to discuss such projects, The Bismarck Tribune (http://bit.ly/2bWamfs) reported.

“Every time I talk to him he says, ‘Bring me a project,’ so that’s what we’re doing,” Hoeven said.

The group pitched Project Tundra, a partnership between Allete Clean Energy, Minnkota Power and BNI Coal to retrofit existing plants to capture carbon dioxide to use in enhanced oil recovery. They also discussed the zero-emissions Allam Cycle pilot project for new power plants, which uses compressed carbon dioxide to drive turbines.

Hoeven said there should be a focus on moving technology beyond lab research to field-test commercially viable projects.

In 2015, the National Coal Council called for more federal finances in carbon capture and sequestration technology development at a level to match investment in renewable energy.

“We (the industry) can’t do it by ourselves,” said Mike Jones, vice president of research and development for the Lignite Energy Council. “The dollars we’re talking about are big.”

Hoeven introduced legislation adding $30 million to the 2017 fiscal year’s Energy and Water Appropriations Bill to fund commercially viable carbon capture and sequestration projects, several of which could come from North Dakota operators through a competitive-bid process.

Hoeven said the funding isn’t likely to be completed until the end of the year, but that he is confident he will be able to get support for the measure in the House.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com