SSEB Awarded $3.5 Million Project to Accelerate Clean Coal and Carbon Management Technologies

The Southern States Energy Board was awarded a five-year, $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy to support and enhance the agency’s mission of helping the United States meet its need for secure, affordable, and environmentally sound fossil energy supplies.

The grant continues the work of the Board’s Committee on Clean Coal Energy Policies and Technologies by convening the region’s governors and legislative leaders within the SSEB region, state agencies, universities, utilities, regulatory bodies, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations to foster and facilitate communication, education, and outreach on fossil energy-related topics.

The committee analyzes issues impacting the domestic and international commercial deployment of advanced power generation, power plant efficiency, water management, and carbon dioxide (CO2) capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies by expanding the value chain for coal and coal by-products with an emphasis on public policy.

SSEB also initiated a new collaborative effort with the University of Houston’s Center for Carbon Management in Energy (CCME) to create a public-private consortium of experts to promote the rapid and transformative deployment of CCUS technologies.

The SSEB and CCME effort focuses beyond the research and development phase of technology development and centers on the commercial deployment needs of industry.

“The Office of Fossil Energy is glad to continue our partnership with the Southern States Energy Board,” said Steven Winberg, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). “We applaud SSEB’s association with the University of Houston to focus on commercial deployment of CCUS projects. The American taxpayer has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in R&D; the time has come for CCUS to be deployed by private industry.”

“The initiative brings together the findings and lessons learned from SSEB’s leadership of the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership program, the Regional Initiatives for CCUS, and a dedicated support team co-located in Houston that is fundamental for commercialization acceleration,” said Kenneth J. Nemeth, SSEB’s Secretary and Executive Director. “SSEB and CCME will work with industry to address a full range of early technology deployment risks through this public-private partnership,” he said.

“The advancement of CCUS technologies and the structure of projects within DOE’s Carbon Management Program portfolio have provided great foundational work at early and late stages of development in CO2 capture, utilization systems, and geologic storage,” said Charles McConnell, Executive Director of the University of Houston’s CCME. “Pilots and demonstrations in several of the key partnerships have led to early-stage commercial deployments, but this is a recognition that greater emphasis and alignment with industry on commercialization challenges and opportunities is required to accelerate the broad deployment of CCUS in the marketplace,” he said.

Through the SSEB and CCME partnership, there will be an increased emphasis in stakeholder engagement and workforce development focused on public, industry, and university education, as well as outreach opportunities directly supporting commercial CCUS deployment.

“Access to reliable clean coal technology supports economic development and job growth,” Winberg said. “There is a bright future for 21st century coal.”


SSEB Awarded DOE Funding to Advance Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Research

The Southern States Energy Board has been awarded a $24 million research and development (R&D) project by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy to advance its prior work on Project ECO2S from Phase II (2016-2020) to Phase III (2020-2023).

This milestone achievement for SSEB and its project partners represents a major step forward in evaluating, testing, and scaling up carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies.

“Myriad potential environmental and economic benefits abound if the region is empowered to develop its CCUS potential,” said Kenneth J. Nemeth, SSEB’s Secretary and Executive Director. “We seek a legacy that recognizes the strength of energy resources that the South has brought to the Nation in the past and now enables us to utilize CCUS to harness technology for a low-carbon future.”

Project ECO2S, or “Establishing an Early CO2 Storage Complex in Kemper County, Mississippi,” is part of a larger, multiphase effort by the DOE and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) known as the Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) Initiative. The CarbonSAFE Initiative focuses on the development of geologic storage sites for the storage of 50+ million metric tons (MMT) of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources.

The selected research projects will improve understanding of project screening, site selection, characterization, and baseline monitoring, verification, accounting, and assessment procedures, as well as the information necessary to submit appropriate permits and design injection and monitoring strategies for commercial-scale projects.

This Phase III award establishes Project ECO2S as one of five Phase II projects that will enter into the next phase of R&D, which centers on:

  • Assessing and verifying safe and cost-effective commercial-scale geologic storage sites for anthropogenic (or man-made) CO2 emissions; and
  • Assessing the technical and economic viability of carbon capture or purification technologies for sources that will supply CO2 to the storage sites.

Project ECO2S Phase III is exploring the concept of establishing a future, commercial-scale, over 900 MMT of capacity, CO2 Storage Complex in central Mississippi in the 2025 time frame.

Three regionally extensive porous and permeable saline formations, with thick confining systems, have been verified at the location that provide attractive settings for CO2 injection and storage. If commercially developed in the future, the storage complex could potentially have the capacity to receive 22.5 MMT per year of CO+, for a period of at least 30 years.

Project ECO2S exemplifies SSEB’s public-private partnership approach to R&D programs in the southern region. Partners in this effort, in addition to DOE and NETL, include: Advanced Resources International, Inc., Battelle Memorial Institute, Christiansen CCS Consult, Crescent Resource Innovation, Environmental Consulting and Technology, Inc., the Geological Survey of Alabama, The International CCS Knowledge Centre, IOM Law, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America, Inc., Oklahoma State University, SAS Institute, Inc., Schlumberger, Southern Company Services, Trimeric Corporation, the United States Geological Survey, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Wyoming’s Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute.


SSEB Selected to Lead Direct Air Capture Effort

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy announced that the Southern States Energy Board will lead a direct air carbon capture recovery partnership.

This opportunity is one of 18 projects for cost-shared research and development under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002188, Novel Research and Development for the Direct Capture of Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere.

Over three years, SSEB will lead its partners toward scaling up and integrating solid-amine carbon dioxide (CO2) adsorption-desorption contactor technology that has been proven in the laboratory but needs to be scaled up for commercialization.

The ultimate goal of the project is to decrease the cost of direct air capture (DAC) through the testing of existing DAC materials in integrated field units that produce a concentrated CO2 stream of at least 95 percent purity.

The venture brings together uniquely skilled and highly specialized partners that include: AirCapture, LLC and its design and construction team at Synapse Product Development, Inc.; Crescent Resource Innovation; Ronald N. Hunsinger, Ph.D.; and Amy Landis, Ph.D. SSEB’s executive director, Ken Nemeth, serves as the project’s principal investigator, and Kimberly Sams Gray, SSEB’s managing director, serves as co-principal investigator.

The project has a stakeholder network that includes: Clean Air Task Force, Carbon Utilization Research Council, Georgia Tech Agricultural Technology Research Institute, Good People Brewing Company, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Pilgrim’s Pride, Shell, Southern Company Services, University of Georgia College of Engineering, and Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Officially referred to as “Direct Air Capture Recovery of Energy for CCUS Partnership (DAC RECO2UP),” the project will field test technology at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Alabama. The NCCC is a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored research facility focused on finding breakthroughs in next generation carbon capture technologies. The project will receive $2.5 million in DOE funding and $650,000 in funding from industry partners for a total expenditure of $3.1 million.