$1.2 billion for direct air capture hubs

U.S. picks two commercial-scale projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $1.2 billion to advance the development of two commercial-scale direct air capture facilities in Texas and Louisiana.

These projects—the first of this scale in the United States—represent the initial selections from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law-funded Regional Direct Air Capture (DAC) Hubs program, which aims to kickstart a nationwide network of large-scale carbon removal sites to address legacy carbon dioxide pollution and complement rapid emissions reductions. Together, these projects are expected to remove more than 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions each year from the atmosphere—an amount equivalent to the annual emissions from roughly 445,000 gasoline-powered cars—and create 4,800 jobs in Texas and Louisiana.

“Cutting back on our carbon emissions alone won’t reverse the growing impacts of climate change; we also need to remove the CO2 that we’ve already put in the atmosphere—which nearly every climate model makes clear is essential to achieving a net-zero global economy by 2050,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “With this once-in-a-generation investment made possible by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, DOE is laying the foundation for a direct air capture industry crucial to tackling climate change—transforming local economies and delivering healthier communities along the way.”

Climeworks Corp.’s direct carbon capture technology will be employed at the Project Cypress carbon capture hub.

DAC is a process that separates CO2 from the air, helping to reduce legacy CO2 in the atmosphere. The separated CO2 can then be safely and permanently stored deep underground or converted into useful carbon-containing products like concrete that prevent its release back into the atmosphere. Widespread deployment of DAC and other innovative technologies that capture emissions are key to combatting the climate crisis and reinforcing America’s global competitiveness in the zero-carbon economy of the future. DOE estimates that reaching President Biden’s ambitious plan for a net-zero emissions economy will require that between 400 million and 1.8 billion metric tons of CO2 be removed from the atmosphere and captured from emissions sources annually by 2050. The two DAC Hubs selected for award negotiations today will help further demonstrate the ability to capture and store atmospheric CO2 at scale.

Selected projects include:

Project Cypress (Calcasieu Parish, LA): Battelle, in coordination with Climeworks Corporation and Heirloom Carbon Technologies, Inc., aims to capture more than 1 million metric tons of existing CO2 from the atmosphere each year and store it permanently deep underground. This hub intends to rely on Gulf Coast Sequestration for offtake and geologic storage of captured atmospheric CO2. The project is estimated to create approximately 2,300 jobs, with a goal to hire workers formerly employed by the fossil fuel industry for 10% of the overall workforce. Project Cypress will implement a robust two-way communication program with local communities and stakeholders to solicit input into the project while also generating new employment opportunities and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles.

South Texas DAC Hub (Kleberg County, TX): 1PointFive, a subsidiary of Occidental, and its partners, Carbon Engineering Ltd. and Worley, seek to develop and demonstrate a DAC facility designed to remove up to 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually with an associated saline geologic CO2 storage site. The project is estimated to create approximately 2,500 jobs in construction, operations, and maintenance with existing agreements for local hiring. The selectees will also establish a Citizen Advisory Board to ensure meaningful community engagement.

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