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.