Subsidiaries of Reykjavik Energy, Carbfix and ON Power, have been granted €3.9m from the EU Innovation Fund for the Silverstone project.

The Silverstone project is based at the company’s Hellisheidi geothermal plant and aims to reach near-zero carbon footprint using scaled-up carbon capture and mineral storage operations, achieved via Carbfix technology.

This technology has its origins in 2007 at the Hellisheidi Power Plant, where Carbfix collaborated with several Icelandic and international univerisities and research institutions to develop a CO2 capture and mineral storage system.

To store the captured CO2, the gas is dissolved into water, created a carbonated water, and then injected into basaltic rocks. A reaction occurs between the gas and the rocks, resulting in the formation of stable carbonate minerals within the rock.

Commenting on the award, Edda Sif Pind Aradóttir, CEO, Carbfix, said, “Receiving such a generous support from the Innovation Fund is a great honour and acknowledgement for a young knowledge-based company such as Carbfix.”

“It also demonstrates that the Carbfix technology is both economical and an environmentally friendly climate solution that can have far-reaching effects.”

With the focus firmly on scaling up, the project intends to build towards the design and construction of an optimised Carbfix capture plant which will have the capacity to capture about 34,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.

The new plant is due for commission in 2025 and will see ON Power take a leading role in providing near-zero emission heat and electricity.

Mentioning that the IPCC’s new climate report shows that companies must do much more in the fight against the climate crisis, Berglind Rán Ólafsdóttir, CEO, ON Power, also said, “The energy produced by ON – whether electricity or hot water – is green, but we want and must do even better,”

She added that the grant allows the company to take a large step towards a zero-emissions operation.

The scale-up operation of the plant is also intended to be as close to zero-emission as possible, with the site being entirely self-sufficient and not depending on any external feedstock.

By 2030 Iceland intends to have reduced its CO2 emissions by 55%, according to its Climate Action Plan. The Silverstone project alone is set to deliver 10% of those emission reductions.