Less than eight months after the official dedication ceremony for the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC), leaders from the project partners joined together to praise outgoing Wyoming Governor Matthew H. Mead for his leadership and vision in pioneering a new public-private model to drive the future of carbon technology.
“Governor Mead sees how our people and our natural resources weave together to form the rich fabric that powers the West,” said Mike McInnes, CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. “His vision for partnership and the promise of technology will shape how electricity is produced for years to come.”
“Electric cooperatives are proud partners in the Wyoming Integrated Test Center and appreciate Governor Mead’s leadership and vision in making the test center a reality,” said National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson. “With his leadership, co-ops are pursuing research that is vital both to America’s long-term goals and the changing energy needs of local communities.”
“We appreciate Governor Mead’s support for the Integrated Test Center at our Dry Fork Station, and his endorsement of carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technology research,” said Paul Sukut, Basin Electric CEO and General Manager. “We are excited to see the results as the future of coal may be dependent upon the results of the Center’s work. We are also so appreciative of Governor Mead’s foresight in understanding the importance of this work.”
“From the beginning of the project, Governor Mead knew the importance not only to the coal industry, but the value to the state of Wyoming,” said Bill Stafford, Basin Electric Director of Government Relations in Wyoming. “Following a conference on the issue he said, ‘It’s more than a good idea, and I will continue to move this concept forward so this project becomes a reality.’ And he did just that.”
“It’s impossible to tell the story of the ITC, the Carbon XPRIZE, or carbon innovation in Wyoming without including Governor Mead,” said Dr. Marcius Extavour, Executive Director of the $20 million NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. “He showed us a vision of how to transform carbon dioxide from a liability to an asset, and delivered a model of public and private support for industrial innovation in Wyoming.”
The ITC provides space for researchers to test Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies using actual coal-based flue gas from the Dry Fork Station near Gillette. The ITC celebrated its official completion with a dedication ceremony in Gillette in May of 2018, marking the construction end of the project and launching a new chapter in innovative research and testing.
Since taking office in 2011, Governor Mead has supported and championed numerous programs aimed at commercializing next generation coal technologies in Wyoming, including the ITC. The state has invested millions over the past 15 years to conduct the basic and applied research necessary to understand all of the various components of a large-scale CCUS project.
In 2014, with the support and encouragement of Governor Mead, the Wyoming State Legislature allocated $15 million in funding for the design, construction and operation of an integrated test center to study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions from a Wyoming coal-based power plant. An additional $5 million commitment from private industry was required under the appropriation, which has since been secured from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in addition to $1 million from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is providing additional in-kind contributions including engineering and construction management services at the Dry Fork Station host site, which is jointly owned by Basin Electric and the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.