Governor Mark Gordon reiterated his support today for a joint study to explore carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCSU) at two of Wyoming’s coal-fueled electrical generation plants, according to a Dec. 9 press release from his office.
The governor’s administration, the University of Wyoming (UW) School of Energy Resources (SER), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and Rocky Mountain Power will partner to conduct the study at the Naughton power plant in Kemmerer and the Dave Johnston power plant near Glenrock.
“Wyoming is serious about using carbon capture technologies to keep our vital coal plants contributing to the economy into the future,” Governor Mark Gordon said in the release. “This is an all hands-on-deck effort. The coal industry, utility companies, the Legislature, the University of Wyoming, county commissioners and my office will continue to find ways to keep Wyoming a major supplier of energy.”
Senior Advisors Steve Hughes and John Nicholayson with Glenrock Energy reached out to the Campbell County Commissioners at their Nov. 19 meeting.
“Bottom line is we need your voices and we need your support,” Hughes told them. “Eventually, those who are saying coal is dead will win if we don’t form a cohesive coalition to say we’re not against renewables, and they have a place, but so does coal.”
“You have a short fuse on this,” County Commissioner Mark Christensen said at the meeting. “My belief is you really have like five maybe 10 at the outset years to deploy CCUS, because if you don’t within that period of time, you’re going to have so many plant retirements that it’s really hard to go back.”
Johnson added that the five-year number seems more accurate. Christensen agreed.
“We’ve got find a way to take coal into the future” Commissioner Del Shelstead also said.
The county is also moving forward with its own initiatives to capitalize on energy research within the Powder River Basin. On Nov. 20, both the Gillette City Council and the Campbell County Commissioners approved a motion to each commit up to $75,000 in a cost-sharing partnership with the University of Wyoming (UW), in which, if the UW proposal to the National Energy Technology Laboratory is accepted, would bring a rare earth elements research facility to Campbell County for a three-year study in partnership with the Department of Energy.
“I think getting the Department of Energy anywhere in this area is a plus,” Gillette Mayor Louise-Carter King said at the Nov. 20 special council meeting.