Australian company signs agreement to conduct research at Wyoming ITC

The following is a news release published by the University of Wyoming. It discusses a newly executed agreement that will affect Basin Electric by leveraging technology testing capabilities of the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) at Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the University of Wyoming (UW) School of Energy Resources (SER) and Low Emission Technology Australia (LETA) was signed last week for collaborative research efforts in the advancement of energy technology.

The new MOU, signed by SER Executive Director Holly Krutka and LETA representatives, enables the exploration of joint research for carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration projects. The projects will identify other innovative technologies with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and identify novel approaches to consume natural resources such as SER’s carbon engineering program focused on Wyoming coal.

“I am very pleased to partner with LETA to invest in and advance technologies that are beneficial to both the state of Wyoming and Australia,” Krutka said. “The missions of LETA and SER significantly align, and sharing lessons learned and expertise can help accelerate technology development, demonstration, and deployment. This cooperative agreement highlights the advantages of building alliances with academic and research partners around the world.”

The partnership will allow SER and LETA to share technical expertise and guidance and, by using cost-share funds from both institutions, it will encourage collaborative, competitive grant applications in pursuit of other funding opportunities.

The MOU further identifies key areas for developing joint programs and exploring opportunities for collaboration. Strategic areas of shared interest include coal-to-products, low-emissions coal electricity generation, low-emissions steel production sequestration, carbon capture, hydrogen, and ammonia production from coal.

The newly executed agreement also will leverage the technology testing capabilities of the ITC and the interest of LETA members to see carbon capture technology continue to advance.

A recent addition under SER’s umbrella, the ITC provides space for researchers to test carbon capture and use technologies using actual coal-based flue gas from Basin Electric's Dry Fork Station near Gillette. The intent of projects vetted at the facility as part of the UW/LETA agreement will be to refine business models and project structures that can be replicated in Australia.

During the recent Wyoming visit, the LETA group toured the ITC to learn more about the innovation program occurring on-site.

“Collaborative efforts in developing low-emission technologies between Wyoming and Australia, underpinned by their aligned interests and shared challenges, exemplify how international cooperation can be a catalyst for the practical demonstration of our goal to drive down the cost of the technologies that will support jobs, lower energy costs, and reduce emissions,” said Mark McCallum, LETA's CEO.

The MOU was facilitated with the assistance of the UW Global Engagement Office. It is scheduled to last for three years with the option to extend it upon mutual agreement.

“I am thrilled that SER, a global leader in energy technology research, has developed and formalized this partnership with colleagues at LETA. It is exactly the kind of international collaboration we strive to cultivate for the UW community,” said Isadora Helfgott, UW’s vice provost for global engagement. “It also recognizes shared priorities and complementary areas of expertise, and it will facilitate work with cutting-edge researchers that expands the scope and impact of our research. Wyoming and Australia have so much in common, and I’m eager to see both the fruits of this collaboration and other opportunities it might open up for engagement with additional research partners and universities.”

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