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Regional Carbon Capture and Storage Hub Receives Funding

Western Pennsylvania is part of a proposed carbon capture and storage hub project that recently received part of $444 million in federal funding to expand the infrastructure needed to help reduce emissions from industrial operations and power plants.

The Tri-State Carbon Capture and Storage Hub also takes in Ohio and West Virginia and is being spearheaded by Southern States Energy Board, a Georgia-based interstate compact group of 16 states, including West Virginia, and two territories.

The project was one of 16 announced to receive portions of the funding provided through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“Large-scale, responsible deployment of carbon management technologies is crucial to meeting the administration’s ambitious climate goal of achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050,” a release states.

The CCS hub funding comes on the heels of the October announcement that the West Virginia-Ohio-Western Pennsylvania region had been selected for one of seven hydrogen hubs that are being developed across the country. The Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) project uses the region’s abundant natural gas to make hydrogen while storing carbon emissions in underground rock formations using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. The project will create 21,000 direct jobs—including more than 18,000 in construction and more than 3,000 permanent jobs. The project will receive up to $925 million to leverage private investment from numerous partners, including Battelle, EQT, and CNX.

When burned in a fuel cell, hydrogen emits only water. However, producing hydrogen from natural gas using steam reformation, the most common method results in CO2 emissions. In order for hydrogen to be considered a clean energy source, it must be coupled with CCS to abate the emissions. The developer of the Tri-State CCS Hub will be Tenaska, one of the largest private independent energy companies in the United States based in Omaha, Neb., and also includes other industry and academic partners.

The project seeks to reduce emissions from industrial operations in the tri-state area, a region with 131 such facilities emitting nearly 47 million tons of CO2. The hub project hopes to encourage collaboration among state regulators, particularly along the Ohio River, to minimize regulatory uncertainties with the evolving technology.

The project “will meticulously study four geological reservoirs to assess their suitability for CO2 storage,” the Southern States release indicates, while also emphasizing community involvement through a benefits plan that will include an advisory board, pre-drilling events, and partnerships.

The pre-development timeline for the project is three to five years, Tenaska’s website states.

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