ND approves $520,000 in surveying sites for carbon capture

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota’s state and industry leaders are putting tax dollars towards carbon capture technologies.

Carbon capture has become a popular method of removing pollutants from power generation, by storing emissions in the ground.

But first, the state is spending hundreds of thousands to see where it can take place.

The state’s Industrial Commission, made up of the governor and other executive branch members, approved a seismic survey to test the feasibility of storing carbon at potential sites.

The entire project will cost almost $630,000.

$325,000 of it will be covered by the state.

The primary investor of the project is Midwest Ag Energy, who operates an ethanol plant in Spiritwood, near Jamestown.

“To be able to store CO2 around Jamestown and the industrial plants there would be great for de-carbonizing ethanol, de-carbonizing coal and could even be a great benefit for the new ADM plant which is going in on the soybean crushing. So, for us to do this study is, I think, an important one,” Burgum said.

When Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., announced his goal of being carbon neutral by 2030, much of the plan relied on advancing carbon capture.

Many power plants, including the recently-purchased Coal Creek Power Station, have committed to carbon capture projects.

“North Dakota is committed to finding innovative, economic solutions to continue using the state’s vast resources in an increasingly carbon constrained environment. This project will empower businesses to make informed decisions on the viability of geological sequestration in east-central North Dakota,” the Industrial Commission members said in a joint statement.

The commission also approved another nearly $200,000 for another feasibility study on building a plant to make biodegradable plastics, called “Project Phoenix.”

Commission leaders said these studies are the first steps diversifying the state’s economy.

The money came from the state’s Renewable Energy Development Fund.

Following these projects, the fund will have around $1.5 million left.

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