Project Tundra captures key grant funding for engineering study

February 22, 2022

Minnkota’s Project Tundra will receive a $5.4 million grant to help conduct the final engineering study needed to advance the initiative.

On Feb. 22, the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) approved the request for funding for a study leading to construction-ready engineering, scheduling, and pricing terms (CREST) for the carbon capture system. Project Tundra aims to capture and permanently store carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the coal-based Milton R. Young Station near Center, N.D. Upwards of 4 million metric tons of CO2 could be captured and stored each year through the system.

The findings of the CREST study could allow Minnkota to begin construction of Project Tundra as soon as the end of 2022, laying the planning groundwork for similar carbon capture and storage projects around the country.

“The advancement of Project Tundra helps position North Dakota as a leader in the development and deployment of technologies to manage CO2,” Minnkota CEO Mac McLennan wrote in a letter of support to regulators. “Retrofitting lignite facilities with these systems represents an opportunity to preserve jobs, ensure dependable power remains on the grid and continues to make progress toward the state’s carbon neutrality goal.”

The total cost of the CREST study is estimated at $10.83 million. The grant funding (provided through North Dakota’s Lignite Research Fund) would support half of that cost, with the remaining half covered by Minnkota and its project engineering partner, Fluor Enterprises.

The NDIC approved a Class VI storage permit for Project Tundra on Jan. 21. Minnkota anticipates making a decision on whether to move forward with construction of Project Tundra later this year. If approved by the cooperative’s board, construction could begin near the end of the year with a goal to begin operations in 2026.

MAIN IMAGE: Rendering of proposed Project Tundra capture facility (Fluor Enterprises)