For Immediate Release:
March 3, 2011
State and Federal Grants will Fund Geologic Scientific Research in New York
Poughkeepsie – Government grants totaling $10 million have paved the way for a research team to characterize and determine if a 200 million-year-old, deeply buried geologic formation underlying parts of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania could eventually support permanent storage of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The TriCarb Consortium for Carbon Sequestration, LLC, whose partners are Poughkeepsie-based Conrad Geoscience Corp. and Houston-based Sandia Technologies, LLC, will conduct the research, which will include drilling up to three investigatory boreholes to study the deep strata of the Triassic-aged “Newark Basin” and determine if they are potentially suitable for future sequestration – or storage – of carbon dioxide emissions captured from industrial sources.
The project, which will take place in the Rockland County portion of the Basin, is one of 10 selected across the country for funding by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The boreholes will be permitted and drilled in accordance with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regulations. No injection of any kind is planned as part of this research project.
DOE has provided $9 million in grant funding, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) committed $1.05 million to the project. An additional $1.25 million in cost sharing, including in-kind contributions – brings the value of the grant to $11.25 million. In addition to funding partners DOE and NYSERDA, the TriCarb team includes distinguished technical advisors from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Rutgers University, and the New York State Museum.
DOE is leading this initiative to study the potential for geologic storage of carbon dioxide throughout the United States. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said funding for carbon sequestration research supports the President’s goal to overcome the barriers to cost-effective deployment of carbon capture and storage within 10 years and helps to position the U.S. as a leader in the global clean energy race.
The team will rely on rock cores and geophysical measurements to evaluate geologic characteristics. “If we find that geologic properties are favorable for safe and effective storage, we estimate that the Newark Basin could potentially hold up to one billion tons of carbon dioxide,” said Daniel Collins, principal, Sandia Technologies. “The strategic importance of this project is clear when you consider the amount of industrial carbon dioxide generated in the Tri-State area, and the proximity of the Newark Basin to these sources.”
CO2 emissions have grown in recent decades. Today, human activity generates 33 billion tons of CO2 per year, according to the DOE. Without intervention, American industry will generate 6.8 billion tons of CO2 annually by 2030. Capturing and sequestering carbon is a science that could be deployed in the near future, even as America continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through conservation and development of new energy sources, including renewable technologies.
“Projections of increasing CO2 emissions in coming decades provide a compelling reminder that our project, and similar initiatives around the country, will be vital,” said John Conrad, president of Conrad Geoscience Corp. “The Newark Basin represents an option for CO2 emitters in the New York metro area and northern New Jersey to comply with emerging carbon emission limits while remaining financially viable and competitive. And what we learn about the storage capacity of the Newark Basin can be applied to studies of other rift basins along the Atlantic coast.”
“We’re pleased to partner with the TriCarb Consortium and DOE to explore the potential for carbon sequestration in New York’s geologic formations,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA. “Climate change is one of the most formidable environmental and scientific challenges confronting New York and our nation. We must explore all options. I congratulate the TriCarb Consortium and express our appreciation to DOE for its financial support and recognition of New York’s strong private-public leadership.”
Rockland County drilling sites include New York State Thruway Authority property at the north side of Exit 14 in Clarkstown, the Tilcon quarry in West Nyack, and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory campus in Palisades. Drilling is scheduled for the second quarter of 2011.
“We are grateful to our site hosts for recognizing the importance of carbon storage research and for making their properties available for our work,” Collins said. “Their partnership and leadership support global, national, state and local environmental goals.”
TriCarb Consortium for Carbon Sequestration Partners
New York State Energy Research and
U.S. Department of Energy
Project Management Team
Daniel J. Collins - Sandia Technologies, LLC, Principal Investigator
Phillip Papadeas - Sandia Technologies, LLC, Co- Principal Investigator
John Conrad - Conrad Geoscience Corp., Co- Principal Investigator
Technical Advisory Team
David Goldberg - Columbia University
Dennis Kent - Rutgers University
Paul Olsen - Columbia University
Langhorn B. Smith - New York State Museum
John Beyer - Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Dwight Peters & Jared Walker - Schlumberger Carbon Services
Technical Project Team
Sandia Technologies, LLC
Conrad Geoscience Corp.
Schlumberger Carbon Services
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
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