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Project Tundra tour presents second test well in efforts to store CO2

Project Tundra
Project Tundra(KFYR-TV)
Published: Sep. 4, 2020 at 5:53 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The energy sector in North Dakota has undoubtedly taken a hard hit during the pandemic.

But a different kind of energy ia gaining steam.

Once it’s fully constructed, researchers say Project Tundra will be the largest carbon dioxide capture project in the world.

The amount of CO2 the project would remove equtes to taking six-hundred thousand cars off the road.A tour of the testing site shows the results of five years of research.

“I always like to say great partners make great projects and this is a perfect example of that,” said John Harju of the Energy and Environmental Research Center.

The developers say the project would produce a cleaner energy source.

It does so by capturing more than 90 percent of the CO2 emissions produced by the coal-based power plant, Milton R. Young Station, and then storing the CO2 underground.

“This is a part of the energy solution and people all over the world know it. They know this is where it moves,” said Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.

North Dakota’s Congressional delegation joined the tour at Project Tundra’s test well site, which will retrieve rock samples to ensure the ground in the area is fit for CO2 storage.

The Congressmen say projects like this receive bipartisan support.

“We have the same goal. I want good, high-paying jobs in North Dakota. I want the lignite mined to its maximum potential and opportunity. But I also want a clean environment,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

The project not only provides environmental quality, but economic stability as well.

“That can mean the difference in keeping these coal-fired electric plants for a long time into the future, or not. Because they are economically viable, that’s the key,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

The Project Tundra team will be continuing their research and are confident in the future of the test well: they say North Dakota’s geology is ideal for CO2 storage. Minnkota Power Cooperative and the Energy and Environmental Research Center out of the University of North Dakota will continue their research through this fall, drilling their second test well through October.

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