Town hall meeting held on the carbon capture project ‘Project Bison’

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A town hall regarding the carbon removal project was held at Western Wyoming Community College on Oct. 26, 2023

Julie Smith, [email protected]

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING — On the evening of Oct. 26, 2023, a town hall meeting for Wyoming residents was held covering the topics of the world’s largest carbon removal project which will be breaking ground in Southwest Wyoming, as well as what training programs will be provided at Wyoming colleges for direct air capture of CO2.

The speakers at the town hall were CarbonCapture Inc., Frontier Carbon Solutions, Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport, Western Wyoming Community College, and the University of Wyoming, followed by a one-hour Q&A session with community members.

CarbonCapture Inc. stated why they chose the state of Wyoming for Project Bison, saying, “Wyoming is already a leader in Carbon Management, and was selected as the project’s location due to the broad availability of renewable and zero-carbon energy sources as well as the favorable regulatory and operating environment for carbon storage.” CarbonCapture Inc. develops and deploys direct air capture (DAC) machines that can be connected in large arrays to remove massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere. CarbonCapture’s systems run on zero-emissions energy, capturing atmospheric CO2 for either permanent atmospheric carbon removal or for producing low-carbon synthetic fuels.

Frontier Carbon Solutions spoke about what their role will be in the carbon capture process, which will be the transportation and storage of CO2. Their partnership with CarbonCapture Inc., named Project Bison, will deploy CarbonCapture’s DAC modules atop Frontier’s CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure in Wyoming. Developed over multiple phases through 2030, the project will meet the rapidly growing demand for carbon removal credits.

In June 2023, Frontier Carbon Solutions announced the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub in Southwestern Wyoming, one of North America’s first open-source, multipurpose carbon storage hubs. The SCS Hub will span over 45,000 acres in Southwestern Wyoming and provide a carbon management solution for industrial emitters across the Mountain West. Although a definite location has not yet been finalized, the project will be located near the Granger, Wyoming area in Sweetwater County.

Devon Brubaker, Chair of the Sweetwater Economic Development Coalition (SEDC), who also represents Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport, spoke about the airport’s customers who are interested in decarbonizing their operations. “For every gallon of jet fuel used in aviation, it produces about 21 lbs. in CO2, so for every 95 gallons of jet fuel that we sell at the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport it produces a ton of CO2. And as you can imagine, it’s difficult to hook up a pipeline to the tailpipe of an airplane and capture that CO2,” said Brubaker. Also, the airport is interested in monetizing the airport’s land space with the goal of minimizing the airport’s financial reliance on Sweetwater County taxpayers. And the SEDC is interested in how Project Bison can create jobs and economic value in our community.

Carbon Capture Inc. is projecting to employ approximately 1,000 + construction or temp workers, over 5-7 years, and 100 permanent employees for the first couple of years, eventually growing to 400+ employees. The company is partnering with sponsored carbon capture training programs that will be taught at Sweetwater County’s own Western Wyoming Community College and at the University of Wyoming.

Cliff Wittstruck, Ed.D. Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs from Western Wyoming Community College spoke about the Workforce Area Training programs the college is developing such as their Powerline program, and their future Plant Operations and Substation programs, which will tie in with the Carbon Capture industry.

The University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources (SER), with Frontier Carbon Solutions Holdings LLC as a partner and collaborator, was awarded $40.5 million by the Department of Energy’s CarbonSAFE initiative to develop further the Sweetwater Carbon Storage Hub (SCS Hub), which is expected to hold more than 350 million metric tons of CO2 eventually. The university is also developing training programs for people who want to work in the carbon capture industry.

Follow Wyo4News for notices of future town hall meetings which will be held regarding the carbon capture project ‘Project Bison’.