The North Dakota Renewable Energy Council recommended on Monday a boost of US$100,000 for the Prairie Horizon Carbon Management Hub, a joint project of the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center and Prairie Horizon, local news source Agweek reported.
The initiative has already secured US$2.5 million from the federal Department of Energy (DOE), with Prairie Horizon, which is a consortium of Marathon Petroleum (NYSE: MPC) and TC Energy (NYSE: TRP), committing up to US$625,000.
The funding will support a two-year effort to better understand the infrastructure and geology in the proposed location in southwestern North Dakota.
The specific underground storage site is yet to be determined, as exploration is ongoing.
This project will require unique considerations, as it involves the storage and transportation of carbon dioxide (CO2) in an area with a history of oil and gas development.
Additionally, the funding will help project partners engage with the communities likely to be affected and address potential social considerations.
Carbon capture is a crucial element of North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, Agweek said.
The long-term vision for the project includes capturing emissions from facilities in two of the state’s growing industries: renewable biofuels and hydrogen production.
Although not directly related to the Heartland Hydrogen Hub, Prairie Horizon’s facility may play a significant role in its design.
The Heartland Hub, funded by the DOE, is aimed at developing clean hydrogen projects across the United States.
Prairie Horizon’s Carbon Management Hub could capture and store CO2 emissions from the hydrogen production process if it proceeds.
Under federal standards, carbon capture is essential for hydrogen to be considered clean when produced using methane gas.
Furthermore, the proposed facility will capture emissions from Marathon’s Dickinson refinery, which produces renewable diesel from plant and animal fats.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission is expected to make a final decision on the US$100,000 in funding for this project later this month.