November 21, 2017

Mercer County: Potential site for future CO2 storage

By Daniel Arens

After Thanksgiving, Mercer County will find itself at the center of an ambitious project that aims, in the long term, to find a location for storing carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants deep underground.
That’s the long-term vision, and right now it’s still a long ways off. But the first major step in possibly bringing such a storage to this county will take place in a couple weeks north of Golden Valley.
This step is simple: to drill a single hole in order to collect underground geological samples for testing. That testing, in turn, may help to determine whether Mercer County is a viable option for CO2 storage.
Currently, there are two sites with real potential for CO2 deep subsurface storage in west-central North Dakota. One is located a few miles north of Golden Valley, while the other is just south of Center in Oliver County.
The Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) is the driving force behind this research. The EERC is a nonprofit research arm of the University of North Dakota (UND), based in Grand Forks.

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