Florida Membership Update

To kick things off in 2021, we are announcing the latest addition to our membership. Sen. Jeff Brandes, of Florida, has joined our board.

Sen. Brandes, a Florida native and Army veteran, ran for the Florida House of Representatives in 2010 and won. In 2012, he successfully ran for the Florida Senate and was re-elected in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

According to his website, Sen. Brandes has “made a name for himself as a pragmatic leader that embraces innovative technology and brings creative solutions to the problems facing Tampa Bay. With a particular interest in transportation, Jeff sponsored the bill bringing Google’s autonomous vehicle technology to Florida, where it is currently being tested.”

We look forward to working with Sen. Brandes on our shared interests.


SSEB Welcomes New Board Member

Today, Representative Debbie Villio joined SSEB’s membership as the House Representative for the state of Louisiana.

Rep. Villio assumed office as Louisiana’s State Representative for District 79 in 2020. According to her biography, her 30 years of experience in public service and law have defined Rep. Villio as a scholarly and skillful professional ready to make a difference in Baton Rouge.

We look forward to working alongside Rep. Villio in pursuit of the common goals of our members.

Documents Meetings

60th Annual Board Business Meeting Summary Available Now

The summary from our 60th Annual Board Business Meeting is now available for those who may have missed our virtual event. The introduction to the summary is excerpted below:

The Honorable Kevin Stitt, Governor of Oklahoma and the Southern States Energy Board’s (SSEB) Chairman, called the Board’s annual business meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Governor Stitt welcomed participants to SSEB’s 60th Annual Board Business Meeting.

He commended the Board’s staff for continuing its progress on current projects and programs despite the hurdles created by the coronavirus pandemic. He further stated, “Energy is our nation’s fuel that powers all we do as a society: our quality of life, public health, the environment, and economic development depend on affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy resources.

Governor Stitt addressed the stifling of businesses involved in or benefitting from fossil fuels and stated that higher energy prices and fewer choices will impact our most distressed communities, which is why SSEB is an “all-of-the-above” organization. He stated that, like SSEB, Oklahoma encourages and supports the responsible production of all energy sources as well as the efficient and safe transportation of these fuels to markets. The governor welcomed new members to the board, and said he looks forward to meeting in person next year. Governor Stitt then handed the meeting over to Rep. Rocky Miller, of Missouri, for the Nominating Committee report.

Documents Meetings

2020 Adopted Resolutions Available for Download

On September 29, 2020, the Southern States Energy Board adopted nine resolutions during our virtual 60th Annual Board Business Meeting. The documents are available for individual download or as a booklet below.

2020 Adopted Resolutions Booklet


Join Us to Discuss Coal’s Continuing Vital Role

October 26 | Zoom Video | 9-12:10 p.m.

Please plan to join us on Oct. 26 for the Southern States Energy Board’s Committee on Clean Coal Energy Policies and Technologies online-only joint meeting with the Metallurgical Coal Producer’s Association (MCPA) where we will learn about the development and implementation of programs and projects that stimulate the use of the region’s clean coal resources for American energy sustainability and worldwide benefit.

This event is our 41st held in conjunction with MCPA and predecessor organizations. Over the course of our three-hour time frame, we will feature presentations and lectures from the U.S. Senate, international industry leaders, the U.S. Department of Energy, academic experts, trade associations, as well as Q & A sessions!

Confirmed Speakers

The Honorable Shelly Moore-Capito, U.S. Senator, West Virginia;

The Honorable Steve Winberg, Assistant Secretary, Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy;

David Stetson, Chair, MCPA and Contura Energy;

Kevin Dempsey, CEO, American Iron and Steel Institute;

Charles McConnell, Executive Director, Carbon Management and Sustainability, University of Houston;

Rich Nolan, President and CEO, National Mining Association;

Jack Richardson, COO, Warrior Met Coal;

Janet Gellici, CEO, National Coal Council; and

Kenneth Nemeth, Secretary, Southern States Energy Board

The event will be held via Zoom, and it’s free to participate. Please click the button below to register now.


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.