Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now

SER Participates in Wyoming Innovation Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Meets with Key Stakeholders in Gillette

June 17, 2022
wyoming innovation center

Members of the School of Energy Resources (SER) traveled to Gillette for the ribbon cutting ceremony on the recently completed Wyoming Innovation Center (WyIC).

SER Executive Director Holly Krutka was among the speakers at the event, celebrating the opportunities for Wyoming coal that WyIC brings.

“I am honored to be a part of the ceremony signaling the opening of the Wyoming Innovation Center,” says Krutka. “Coal plays an important role in Wyoming’s economy and a facility dedicated to utilizing one of Wyoming’s most abundant resources in new and sustainable ways is advantageous for all of us.”

The 5,500 square foot facility nestled neatly on a reclaimed mine site, offers researchers a working space to advance the coal-to-product and rare earth element processing technology.

The School of Energy Resources is slated to be one of the first tenants in the new facility to work on a project extracting rare earth elements from coal fly ash – a project led by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and in collaboration with Campbell County and the city of Gillette.

“The location of WyIC is ideal for the scale up of important projects in SER,” adds Krutka. “SER faculty and staff have been conducting valuable research in the lab for years on coal-to-products and the extraction of rare earth elements from unconventional sources. Testing technologies where we expect they will ultimately be deployed commercially is an important step.”  

The grand opening coincided with important visits from leadership from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM). Director of Carbon Transport and Storage, John Litynski, along with Emily Grubert, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for FECM, and Noah Deich, the Acting Director of Carbon Removal and CO2 Conversion Division, met with the SER team to learn more about the collaborative strategies for carbon management in Wyoming and the state’s vision for the future.

The group was accompanied by representatives from the Wyoming Business Council, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, the Integrated Test Center, and Membrane Technology & Research.

In addition to researching novel uses for coal, SER has a prominent presence in Campbell County through the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project which is located adjacent to Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station. Seeking to safely store large quantities of CO2 in secure geologic reservoirs miles below the surface, the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project is making progress toward full-scale deployment.

The meeting was held in conjunction with a visit from the Interagency Working Group on Coal Communities and showcased the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project, as well as a tour around Dry Fork Mine and Dry Fork Station.  

Fred McLaughlin, the director of SER’s Center for Economic Geology Research and a co-principal investigator on the CarbonSAFE grant says that the opportunity to have robust and productive conversations with the people supporting technology development is vital.

“We are so grateful for the opportunity to share our projects and perspectives with federal, state and local representatives,” says McLaughlin. “The work at SER is supported by the state of Wyoming and federal grant funding, and we are reliant on the generous support from all our stakeholders and project partners. We hope that the first-hand experience offered through this visit demonstrated the level of innovation and the collective commitment of Wyoming to clean and economic energy solutions.”

Contact Us

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon