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Regional Partnerships


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Fossil-fueled Power
Non-Fossil Generation
End-Use Efficiency
Electricity T&D
Carbon Sequestration
Non-CO2 Reductions
Other GHG Reductions

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Terrestrial Seq.
Carb. Capture&Storage
Regional Partnerships


 Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships


The regional diversity of CO2 sources and storage options calls for a diverse portfolio of strategies for carbon management. On November 21, 2002 Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced that the Department of Energy “intends to create a nationwide network of regional sequestration partnerships.” The partnerships would seek to identify the most promising sequestration options in their geographic area.

A national network of public-private sector partnerships as been established. This network will determine the most suitable technologies, regulations, and infrastructure needs for carbon capture, storage and sequestration in different areas of the country.

On June 9, 2005, following a competitive evaluation, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman announced the seven partnerships of state agencies, universities, and private companies chosen for Phase II of the program. These partnerships are the same as those initially chosen for Phase I in 2003. Together, the partnerships include more than 240 organizations spanning 40 states, three Indian nations, and four Canadian provinces.

The selected partnerships are shown in the table below. Click on each link for more details.

    West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WestCarb) led by the California Energy Commission, Sacramento, CA, and made up of representative organizations from Alaska, Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the Canadian Province of British Columbia
    Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon Sequestration which will involve the efforts of 21 partners in eight states coordinated by the Western Governors' Association and New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM
    Big Sky Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership which will be headed by Montana State University, Bozeman, MT, and cover Idaho, Montana, and South Dakota
    Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership which will extend across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming and three Canadian provinces. It will led by the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND
    Midwest (Illinois Basin) Geologic Sequestration Consortium which will evaluate sequestration options in the Illinois Basin of Illinois, western Indiana, and western Kentucky. It will be led by the University of Illinois, Illinois State Geological Survey
    Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership headed by Southern States Energy Board, Norcross, GA, and involving Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and South Carolina
    Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership covering Indiana, Michigan, Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and coordinated by the Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, OH

Industry is actively participating in seven Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships to explore opportunities and methods for CO2 emissions storage. Under the DOE-sponsored program, a wide variety of industry participants are working with local universities and state and federal agencies to identify regionally appropriate opportunities for sequestering carbon either terrestrially (in trees, crops, and grasses and the soils that they grow in) or geologically (in underground formations).

The RCSP Program is being implemented in three interrelated phases. Levels of DOE funding without cost shares are shown.

  Characterization Phase ($15 million, FY 2003 – FY 2005). The Characterization Phase, completed in 2005, focused on characterizing regional opportunities for carbon capture and storage, identifying regional CO2 sources, and identifying priority opportunities for field tests. Each RCSP developed decision support systems that house regional geologic data on CO2 storage sites and information on CO2 sources to complete source-sink matching models. Each RCSP also researched project tools necessary to model and measure the fate and spread of CO2 after injection. Combined with public outreach and education programs conducted by the RCSPs during the Characterization Phase, these activities show that CCS is a viable option to mitigate CO2 emissions.
  Validation Phase ($112 million, FY 2005 – FY 2009). The Validation Phase focuses on field tests to validate the efficacy of CCS technologies in a variety of geologic and terrestrial storage sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. Using the extensive data and information gathered during the Characterization Phase, the seven RCSPs identified the most promising opportunities for carbon sequestration in their Regions and are performing 25 geologic field tests and 11 terrestrial field tests. In addition, the RCSPs are verifying regional CO2 sequestration capacities, satisfying project permitting requirements, and conducting public outreach and education activities.
  Deployment Phase (up to $470 million, FY 2008 – FY 2017). The Deployment Phase, scheduled to begin in FY 2008 and run through FY 2017, will demonstrate at large scale that CO2 capture, transportation, injection, and storage can be achieved safely, permanently, and economically. DOE will provide up to $470M in federal support for the RCSPs over 10 years. An additional 20 percent cost share will be provided by each RCSP. The primary goal of the Deployment Phase is the development of large-scale CCS projects across North America, where large volumes of CO2 will be injected into a geologic formation representative of a relatively large storage capacity for each Region. The injection will continue over several years.

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 Power Partners Projects

In the Midwest, efforts are underway to examine the technical feasibility and costs of storage in deep geologic formations, agricultural forests, and degraded land systems, as well as existing regulations and policies to determine if they hinder cost-effective CO2-emissions storage and ways of overcoming these barriers.

In the Southeast, partnership members are working together to pinpoint CO2 sources and sinks as well as transport requirements for 11 states, enter this data into a geographical information system data base, and develop an outreach plan so that stakeholders can help identify and implement regional CO2 storage measures.

In the Southwest partnership, electric utilities are contributing to an effort to assess the most appropriate storage strategies and technologies, including development of a Web site network to share information, store data, and help with decision-making and future management of carbon storage in the region.

As part of the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership, power providers are developing an approach that involves: 1) characterizing technical issues and the public’s understanding regarding CO2 storage; 2) identifying regional opportunities for storage; and 3) detailing an action plan to be carried out during Phase II of the partnership.

In the Illinois Basin Initiative, electric utilities are partnering with others to look at the feasibility and ways of storing CO2 within deep, uneconomic coal seams, numerous mature oil fields, and saline reservoirs. An action plan will be developed for possible technology validation field tests involving CO2 injection.

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 References, Sources, and Other Useful Data

U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, “Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships”

NETL's web page for the Regional Partnerships give background on the Regional Partnerships, plus links to each one.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships”

Home Page for DOE’s Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships, with links to each of the regional partnerships.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “Abraham Announces Plans to Expand DOE’s Carbon Sequestration Research,” Fossil Energy Techline, November 21, 2002

Secretary Abraham said that the federal government intends to create a nationwide network of four to ten "regional sequestration partnerships." He called on industry, state and local agencies, universities, and others to join with the Energy Department in forming the partnerships.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “Climate Technology: DOE Readies First Big U.S. Projects in CO2 Capture and Storage,” Fossil Energy Techline, August 3, 2007

The Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing to commission this year America's first large-scale demonstrations of CO2 capture and deep geologic storage in fulfillment of a commitment announced last October to Phase III of the Carbon Sequestration Regional Partnerships Program. The projects could lead to a tripling of the world's present large-scale demonstrations.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “DOE Advances Ways to Capture, Permanently Store Carbon Emissions,” Fossil Energy Techline, June 9, 2005

The Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $100 million to further develop carbon sequestration technologies used to capture and permanently store greenhouse gases. Each regional partnership will receive between $2 million and $4 million per year in DOE funding, which will provide at least 20 percent of project costs. The total value of the seven projects exceeds $145 million over four years.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “DOE Announces Release of Second Carbon Sequestration Atlas,” Fossil Energy Techline, November 17, 2008
Interactive version at http://www.natcarb.org/
Print version at http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/carbon_seq/refshelf/atlasII/

On 17-Nov-2008, DOE announced the release of its second Carbon Sequestration Atlas of the United States and Canada, which documents more than 3,500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) storage potential in oil and gas reservoirs, coal seams, and saline formations. Preliminary estimates suggest the availability of more than 1,100 years of CO2 storage for the United States and Canada in these geologic formations. The Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory created the initial atlas and developed it in consort with the regional carbon sequestration partnerships, as well as the National Carbon Sequestration Database and Geographical Information System (NATCARB). DOE has published both print and interactive editions of the atlas. The interactive version is located at the NATCARB Web site and is frequently updated. The print version is available for viewing and downloading at the NETL website.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “DOE Awards First Three Large-Scale Carbon Sequestration Projects,” Fossil Energy Techline, October 9, 2007

The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded the first three large-scale carbon sequestration projects in the United States and the largest single set in the world to date. The three projects - Plains Carbon Dioxide Reduction Partnership; Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership; and Southwest Regional Partnership for Carbon Sequestration - will conduct large volume tests for the storage of one million or more tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep saline reservoirs. DOE plans to invest $197 million over ten years, subject to annual appropriations from Congress, for the projects, whose estimated value including partnership cost share is $318 million. These projects are the first of several sequestration demonstration projects planned through DOE's Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “DOE Completes Large-Scale Carbon Sequestration Project Awards, Fossil Energy Techline, November 17, 2008

Completing a series of awards through its Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership Program, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $66.9 million to the Big Sky Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership for the Department’s seventh large-scale carbon sequestration project. The award to Big Sky is the seventh award in the third phase of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program.  Six other large-scale field projects are currently being developed throughout the United States by the other Regional Partnerships. This initiative, launched by DOE in 2003, forms the centerpiece of national efforts to develop the infrastructure and knowledge base needed to place carbon capture and storage technologies on the path to commercialization. 

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, "DOE Reports on Success of Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships," Fossil Energy Techline, May 02, 2005
http://www.fossil.energy.gov/news/techlines/2005/tl_regional_partnerships_phase1.html and

This DOE report (and accompanying press release) details the success of the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships in laying the groundwork for field testing and verifying carbon sequestration technologies in the near term.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “President's 2004 Budget Includes Nearly $750 Million for Fossil Energy Programs,” Fossil Energy Techline, February 3, 2003

Beginning in FY 2004, one of the cornerstones of the Energy Department's carbon sequestration program will be a national network of regional partnerships. This Secretarial initiative will bring together the federal government, state agencies, universities, and private industry to begin determining which options for capturing and storing greenhouse gases are most practicable for specific areas of the country.

U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, “Statement of Thomas D. Shope, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Fossil Energy, before the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives", March 6, 2007

Testimony discussing the general subject of carbon sequestration. Describes DOE's R&D program overview, regional activities, international activities, and achievements and challenges in the different program areas.

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