Three information-filled days discussing the growth in CCUS across the 20-state MRCI region.
On the heels of the first in-person MRCI Annual Partners and Stakeholders meeting held last year in Columbus, Ohio, the Initiative team held this year’s annual meeting in Morgantown, West Virginia, and was attended by over 150 people. The day and a half of presentations for the main meeting was bookended with two pre-meeting workshops on Community Benefits Plans (CBP) and Storage Resources Management Systems (SRMS) and a post-meeting workshop covering the emerging field of Hydrogen Energy and Related Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Management.
The main meeting hosted 34 experts with backgrounds in government, industry, and academia who presented on seven topics important to carbon capture utilization and storage: Capturing and transporting CO2, Demonstrating CCUS, Geologic Storage Resources and Technical Progress, Permitting and Regulations, Risks Assessment, Finance, and Insurance, Stakeholder Outreach and Tech Transfer, and CarbonSAFE and Other Storage Projects.
Attendees remarked on the importance of the issues discussed and valued the opportunity to engage in conversations with leading experts in the field.
“The speakers this year did a great job providing attendees with an in-depth analysis of every aspect of CCUS, from the technology to financing projects to community engagement. As CCUS becomes more popular, it is important now more than ever to make sure that partners and stakeholders have an accurate understanding of the science and the legislation. We are proud of the fact that the MRCI is a place where people can get the information they need to grow CCUS,” says Neeraj Gupta, co-Principal Investigator of the MRCI.
The first day of the main meeting concluded with a reception and dinner with a Keynote address from Cecil Roberts, President of the United Mine Workers of America, who delivered an inspiring oration on the importance of labor and workers rights.
Prior to the start of the main meeting, attendees had the opportunity to participate in one of two pre-meeting workshops: one covering Community Benefits Plans (CBP) and the other covering Storage Resource Management Systems (SRMS).
The four pillars of any CBP – Community Engagement, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA), Workforce Development, and Justice40 – were put front and center for attendees of the CBP workshop. Attendees learned how to set realistic goals and achieve them from experts who are putting these principles into practice every day.
It is the hope of the MRCI Team that community and stakeholder values and perspectives are prioritized in all emerging CCUS projects.
Jared Hawkins, the organizer of the workshop and a Subsurface Scientist at Battelle, commented on the workshop, stating, “the content and speakers were very well received. These concepts are things that many project developers are not used to thinking about – at least not in the way they are being asked to think about them. The back-and-forth dialog for the workshop really shows that everyone who attended is really working to get the most out of this important, new component of DOE projects.”
Attendees of the SRMS workshop gained in-depth insight into CO2 storage and how it is managed. The speakers covered the principles and tools of SRMS and discussed a variety of case studies from MRCI regional basins, Mid-Atlantic Offshore, and Australia.
“The SRMS workshop was well-attended, with an active and attentive group. An overview of the SRMS was presented, as well as several examples of how to apply the SRMS to projects of varying types,” says Illinois State Geological Survey’s Charles Bopp. “Attendees left with an idea of the applications, but also the complexities of classification.”
After the main meeting concluded, Battelle’s Priya Ravi Ganesh hosted an MRCI associated event featuring a series of presentations and panels discussing Hydrogen Energy and Related CO2 Management. The workshop brought together experts from the industry and research community to highlight considerations across the hydrogen value chain to accelerate the deployment of commercial clean hydrogen projects. The workshop was timely, given the Biden-Harris Administration announcement on selection of 7 Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs, which included the Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2) as we as well as the Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub and Midwest Hydrogen Hub, all in the MRCI region.
The half-day workshop engaged close to 100 registered attendees with insights into potential opportunities to develop affordable, accessible, convenient, clean, and sustainable solutions for low carbon hydrogen production, transport, and storage.
“Clean hydrogen is an essential pathway to meet aggressive decarbonization and zero-carbon economy goals both domestically and around the globe,” says Priya Ravi Ganesh. “The MRCI region is unique in its rich diversity of existing and new resources, end-use opportunities and job creation across multiple sectors that will strengthen and accelerate the positive impact of clean hydrogen initiatives like the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub program. This event was impactful in demonstrating the MRCI region’s unmatched potential in once again shaping the resilience of the U.S. energy economy.”
If you missed the meetings this year, please see the list of presentations.
We would like to thank our 2023 sponsors who made this event possible – Wabash Valley Resources, TRC, TC Energy, Navigator CO2, Allegheny Science & Technology, SageRider Inc., Core Energy LLC, Coles Together, and Battelle.