What is project tundra?

Project Tundra proposes to pair an existing power plant with conventional oil fields in the next step to develop post combustion carbon capture and utilization technologies. The project is in the early development phase. The vision for the project is to retrofit Unit 2 of the Milton R. Young Station near Center, North Dakota, with sophisticated equipment to capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide emitted.

Once captured, the CO2 will either be pressurized for piping to conventional oil fields located approximately 100 miles to the west of the Young station, or sequestered underground near the adjacent lignite mine. The CO2 destined for the oil fields will be transported by a pipeline that follows an “energy corridor” to western North Dakota. The corridor also could be used to move natural gas, petroleum fluids, flare gas, and water and wastewater.

Upon arrival at the oil fields, the carbon dioxide can be injected into wells and used to recover oil that conventional recovery methods left behind in a process known as enhanced oil recovery.

The estimated $1.3 billion Project Tundra builds upon the successful carbon capture project at NRG’s Petra Nova Project near Houston, Texas. As with Petra Nova, Project Tundra is seeking to use a similar technology that uses an amine solvent to separate and capture the CO2. Tundra expands upon the success of Petra Nova by using lignite (a low-rank coal), operating in a colder climate, improving waste heat utilization and overall plant thermal efficiencies, and scaling up the size of the technology, thereby capturing more CO2. Project Tundra could potentially sequester between 2.3 and 3.6 million tons of CO2 annually.

About the Milton R. Young Station

Operated by Minnkota Power Cooperative, the Milton R. Young Station is a mine-mouth generating station with two units that burn lignite coal supplied from the adjacent BNI Coal mine. Unit 2, a 455-megawatt unit that began commercial operation in 1977, is the target for the carbon capture retrofit project.

Project Tundra seeks to utilize a similar technology as the successful Petra Nova project to capture up to 90 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions generated by Unit 2.

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