Minnkota submits permit application for Project Tundra

June 1, 2021

Minnkota Power Cooperative submitted a permit application on May 28 to safely and permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2) as part of Project Tundra.

Safety and environmental stewardship are vitally important to the Project Tundra partners. Geologic storage of CO2 is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act’s Underground Injection Control Program and is classified as Class VI injection. The permit application was filed with the North Dakota Industrial Commission’s Oil and Gas Division, which has regulatory authority over injection of CO2 for permanent storage. The regulatory framework is designed to protect underground sources of drinking water through safe operation and long-term monitoring of the stored CO2. A wide array of monitoring technologies is required to track CO2 movement in the subsurface, including down-hole and surface CO2 sensors.

“The development of this permit application builds on more than two decades of research into CO2 storage in North Dakota and five years of extensive research and testing specific to Project Tundra,” said Mac McLennan, Minnkota president and CEO. “The science continues to establish that North Dakota has ideal geology for the development of carbon capture and storage projects.”

The Minnkota-led Project Tundra is designed to capture 90% of the CO2 produced from either unit at the Milton R. Young Station located near Center, N.D. This capture rate amounts to approximately 4 million metric tons per year, which is the equivalent to taking 800,000 gasoline-fueled vehicles off the road. The captured CO2 would be stored in geologic formations more than one mile underground near the Young Station.

Minnkota is currently in the evaluation phase of Project Tundra. Although a final decision on whether to move forward with the project has not been made, the permit application filing is necessary to ensure construction timelines can be maintained. If Project Tundra moves ahead, construction could begin as early as 2022, with commercial operation slated for 2025.

“We remain actively engaged with area landowners, nearby communities and our member cooperatives,” McLennan said. “We have strong support for Project Tundra and will continue communicating and keeping stakeholders up to date as we move ahead in the process.”

For the most recent news and updates on Project Tundra, visit ProjectTundraND.com