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Published August 16, 2019
A top official with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will visit the University of Wyoming next week as part of a trip to the state to get a firsthand look at the state’s investments in fossil energy technology and the mining industry.
Steven Winberg, assistant secretary of fossil energy, will be on the UW campus Friday, Aug. 23, to tour university facilities and hear about UW energy research. It’s part of a three-day tour by Winberg and several DOE staff members of Wyoming’s energy industry and research facilities.
“It is exciting that Assistant Secretary Winberg will be able to spend a significant amount of time in Wyoming,” Gov. Mark Gordon says in a release from the governor’s office. “As the leading coal-producing state in the country and home to some of the most innovative fossil energy research, I am thrilled to highlight firsthand and on the ground the areas where Wyoming has led the way in energy and forward-looking climate solutions. I look forward to working with DOE to find avenues to move these important technologies toward commercialization.”
At UW, Winberg will tour the Energy Innovation Center (EIC) and learn about UW’s research on carbon capture and storage; air quality; carbon engineering; rare earth elements; and enhanced oil recovery. He’ll take a “virtual energy tour” of Wyoming in UW’s Shell 3D Visualization Center in the EIC.
Winberg also will visit the High Bay Research Facility, the drilling simulator in the new Engineering Education and Research Building, and UW’s Produced Water Management Center.
Earlier in the week in Campbell County, Winberg will visit the site of a UW-led test well near Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station that is helping determine the suitability of the underground geologic formations for commercial carbon dioxide storage. The work is part of the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project, which is funded by DOE’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative.
The invitation to tour Wyoming was extended by Gordon when the two men met at the Utah Energy Summit in May. The Office of Fossil Energy is the primary lead at DOE for advancing carbon capture utilization and storage technologies, which Gordon has championed. In 2019, he requested $10 million from the Wyoming State Legislature for matching funds for a precombustion pilot project, and $5 million was appropriated. UW is leading the process to request proposals from industry for the pilot project.