Project Name: Project Cypress
Project Manager: Brandon Webster
Location: Calcasieu Parish, LA
Project Summary: Project Cypress, a Regional DAC Hub to be located in southwest Louisiana, aims to capture more than 1 million tonnes of existing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere each year and sequester the CO2 permanently deep underground. Battelle will act as the DAC Hub owner in partnership with technology providers Climeworks Corporation and Heirloom Carbon Technologies, Inc. Project Cypress will implement a robust two-way communication program with local communities and stakeholders to solicit input into the project as it develops its Community Benefits Plan while also generating new employment opportunities and advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles.
Project Cypress intends to rely on Gulf Coast Sequestration (GCS) for the offtake and geologic storage of captured atmospheric CO2. GCS has complete permits on file with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval of six Class VI wells. Following permit approval, GCS will construct and operate the injection wells necessary for the safe and permanent sequestration of the captured CO2 into a deep saline aquifer. The owner of GCS, the Stream family of companies, is also supporting Project Cypress as the landowner and lessor of the host site in southwest Louisiana.
Project Name: South Texas DAC Hub
Project Manager: Trey Fournier
Location: Kleberg County, TX
Project Summary: 1PointFive, a subsidiary of Occidental, will develop the South Texas DAC Hub that demonstrates the technical and commercial viability of DAC as well as delivering regional economic, environmental, and social benefits to provide a model for the development of DAC Hubs across the U.S. and abroad. The South Texas DAC Hub is expected to include a Direct Air Capture facility designed to remove up to 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually with an associated saline geologic CO2 storage site. 1PointFive has committed to furthering equity, justice, and quality job creation in the development of the South Texas DAC Hub through its Community Benefit Plan (CBP). The CBP includes strategies to conduct meaningful engagement, including creation of a Citizen Advisory Board for active two-way engagement with the community, support workforce development, promote local hiring of a diverse workforce, and track benefit flows to disadvantaged communities in support of the Justice40 Initiative.
1PointFive will act as the DAC Hub owner and Carbon Engineering Ltd. Is the DAC technology provider. The Worley Group Inc. is the expected EPC contractor; Carbon Direct Inc. will advise on the CBP and provide life cycle analysis; and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will provide workforce analysis and Justice40 tracking. Texas A&M University Kingsville and Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program will study the affected environment and natural resources and protect regional water resources respectively. Livermore Lab Foundation will provide STEM education resources to local schools and University of Texas at Austin Gulf Coast Carbon Center will provide community education and outreach on carbon management.
Q. What is direct air capture?
A: Direct air capture, or DAC, is a carbon dioxide removal process that separates carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere. The separated CO2 can then be converted into components of products like concrete or stored safely and permanently deep underground. DAC, and other forms of carbon removal, is a critical tool for reaching net-zero emissions and cleaning up the legacy carbon pollution that is already in the atmosphere, causing significant climate change related damage.
Q. How is direct air capture different from carbon capture, utilization, and storage?
A: Carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies are used to capture the CO2 produced by a facility before it enters the atmosphere. This CO2 can then be used to make other valuable products, or can be stored safely, deep underground. In other words, carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology helps avoid emissions by preventing the release of CO2 from power plants and industrial facilities. This is known as “point-source capture,” since the CO2 is captured at the source before it can be emitted.
Unlike carbon capture, utilization, and storage, DAC is not a form of point-source capture. Rather than avoiding future CO2 emissions, DAC technology addresses the carbon pollution that already exists in our atmosphere.
Q. Why is DOE investing in direct air capture?
A: Investments in DAC technologies are part of a larger U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) carbon management portfolio that are critical to helping the United States move toward a clean energy and industrial future. The Offices of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) and Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) are a part of DOE’s broader effort to help achieve the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of economy-wide net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050.
To do this, DOE recognizes we need a dual strategy: we must significantly reduce the CO2 emissions going into the atmosphere, and we must permanently remove legacy CO2 emissions from the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide removal technologies like DAC are a key part of the latter half of this strategy.
DAC, combined with long-term CO2 storage and/or conversion of CO2 to valuable products, helps remove existing CO2 from the atmosphere and address the legacy impacts of fossil fuel combustion and greenhouse gas emissions from other sources. Additionally, DAC can support sectors that do not have a single point-source where CO2 emissions could be captured. For example, DAC can reduce the CO2 emissions created by agriculture and shipping industries to help them achieve net zero.
Q. How many projects have been selected and how much funding is DOE providing?
A: Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Congress appropriated $3.5 billion for the development of four domestic Regional DAC Hubs. Through this initial funding opportunity announcement, DOE made more than $1.2 billion of federal funding available and selected for award negotiation two Regional DAC Hubs as well as 14 feasibility studies and 5 front-end engineering and design studies.
In August 2023, OCED announced two projects that have been selected for award negotiations to become Regional DAC Hubs. FECM also announced the projects selected for award negotiations to conduct feasibility and front-end engineering and design studies. DOE intends to issue a second funding opportunity announcement in 2024 or later to solicit additional projects seeking funding and fully implement the Regional DAC Hubs mandate.
Q. What are Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs?
A: Each Regional DAC Hub will demonstrate a direct air capture technology or suite of technologies as well as the processing, delivery, and storage or end-use of captured carbon. Each hub must have the capacity to scale and capture at least one million metric tons of existing CO2 annually from the atmosphere, and either store it safely and permanently deep underground or convert it into valuable products.
Q. What are the anticipated benefits of the Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs?
A: DOE’s funding for Regional DAC Hubs will accelerate the commercialization of DAC technology and demonstrate the processing, transport, and storage/conversion of CO2 captured from the atmosphere.
The Regional DAC Hubs program supports the broader government-wide effort to help the United States achieve a net-zero economy by 2050 in a cost-effective, reliable, and efficient manner, and to maximize the benefits of the clean energy transition as the nation works to curb the climate crisis, empower workers, and advance environmental justice.
The Regional DAC Hubs are also expected to create new, good paying jobs in the clean energy sector while supporting DOE’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. The hubs will also contribute to the President’s Justice40 Initiative, which set a goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized and overburdened by pollution and underinvestment.
DOE has engaged with environmental and energy justice groups and frontline communities who have concerns around the benefits and potential negative impacts of DAC, as was highlighted by WHEJAC. Our comprehensive Community Benefits Plan (CBP) approach and phased project management approach will ensure the robust engagement of impacted communities throughout the lifecycle of the project, maximize benefits for local communities, and help minimize and mitigate negative impacts.
Q. How does DOE plan to address risks associated with the Regional Direct Air Capture Hubs?
A: Ensuring safe deployment and mitigating social, economic, technical, and environmental risks associated with Regional DAC Hubs is of the utmost importance to DOE and central to our project management approach. DOE will work with the appropriate authorities to mitigate and address concerns proactively and continually throughout the duration of the project.
Funded projects must submit detailed risk assessments and risk management plans outlining potential risks and impacts, and how they will mitigate those impacts. They must also submit detailed Community Benefits Plans, including how the project performers will transparently communicate risks or potential negative impacts associated with the project to the community.
Q. How were these projects selected as Regional DAC Hubs?
A: Selectees for the Regional DAC Hubs program were evaluated through a rigorous technical and merit review process following criteria set forth in the funding opportunity announcement. These criteria included an evaluation of “Technological Merit and DAC Hub Site Suitability,” including the degree to which the proposed site(s) are suitable for DAC hub development, implementation, and CO2 storage capability.
Q. How will communities where Regional DAC Hubs are located be engaged?
A: OCED will engage in early, frequent, and meaningful engagement with communities that host Regional DAC Hubs.
In September 2023, OCED will co-host in-person community briefings with the selected project teams to engage with local stakeholders in Texas and Louisiana and provide information about the selected projects, discuss the project timeline, and share how community members can be involved. OCED will continue to work with stakeholders and Tribal governments throughout the design, construction, and operation of the DAC hubs. Stakeholders include state and local governments; community leaders; economic development, environmental and climate justice organizations; labor groups and industry; and academia. Additionally, projects funded under this funding opportunity announcement are required to submit and implement a Community Benefits Plan to support meaningful community and labor engagement; invest in America’s workforce; advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility; and contribute to the President’s Justice40 Initiative.