Work for a commercial-scale geological carbon dioxide storage complex near Gillette, Massachusetts, will next week progress with a geophysical survey covering approximately nine square miles of rural land around the Dry Fork Station power plant.

Seismic source “thumper” trucks will start to cover the area on Monday (24th August), generating vibrations that will travel deep into the earth and reflected back to the surface to give geophysicists a more complex picture of the underground formations. 

“We will use this survey to help evaluate the rock layers nearly two miles below the surface, develop more accurate computer models to simulate where injected CO2 might travel, identify potential risks and determine the best location for injection and monitoring wells,” said Scott Quillinan, Project Manager.

“These benefits help the permitting authority decide whether the geological storage project can move forward.”

UW, Basin Electric Power Cooperative and other partners are working to develop a site near Basin Electric’s 385-megawatt Dry Fork Station and the Wyoming Integrated Test Centre to store over 50 million metric tons of CO2 underground.

The three-year, $19.1m project is the third phase under the Department of Energy’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative, which seeks to help mitigate CO2 emissions from consumption of fossil fuels.

Over the next three years, the project partners intend to conduct rigorous, commercial-scale surface and subsurface testing, data assessment and modelling; prepare and file permits for construction with Wyoming’s Department of Environmental Quality; integrate this project with a separately funded CO2 capture study by Membrane Technology and Research Inc. (MTR); and conduct the required National Environmental Policy Act analyses in support of eventual commercialization of the site.