Oliver County residents absorb knowledge on Project Tundra

May 11, 2021

If Project Tundra moves forward, it would bring transformational energy technologies, jobs and more than $1 billion of investment into Oliver County.

Understandably, residents and landowners are eager to learn more.

Leaders from Minnkota Power Cooperative and the Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) helped answer questions and discussed project details at informational sessions held May 5 at the Civic Center in Center, N.D. Interactive displays, handouts and other communication materials were made available to help educate about 70 attendees on the technical details and project specifics.

An interactive display allows Oliver County residents to practice injecting CO2 into different rock formations.

“Project Tundra is a way for us to keep the Young Station viable in a carbon-managed world,” said Mac McLennan, Minnkota president and CEO, who led both sessions. “We believe we’re going to face a carbon regulation, tax or other measure that is going to require us to look at things differently. Carbon capture is going to be an integral piece of the puzzle if we want to keep our grid reliable.”

The first meeting was reserved for impacted landowners in the area to discuss specifics about how carbon dioxide will be safely and permanently stored more than a mile underground. Maps and other graphics were used to show the area in which the CO2 will travel within its locked geologic formation over a 20-year period. Minnkota right-of-way agents continue to coordinate with landowners on CO2 storage rights around the plant in advance of submitting permit applications, which will begin in the coming months.

Following the landowner session, Minnkota made project experts available to all community members. After a series of presentations, attendees were able to inspect core samples of rock that had been retrieved from test wells drilled near the Young Station in 2020. Others were able to interact with a display that simulates how different rock formations accept CO2 injection.

EERC geologist Wes Peck (right) explains to a landowner how CO2 will be safely and permanently stored in geologic formations more than a mile underground.

Minnkota is still in the evaluation phase of Project Tundra. If the project moves ahead, construction could begin as early as 2022, with commercial operation starting in 2025. To learn more, visit ProjectTundraND.com.