Gillette, Wyoming – The Wyoming Integrated Test Center celebrated its official completion with a dedication ceremony in Gillette yesterday, marking the construction end of this pioneering private-public partnership and launching a new chapter in innovative research and testing.
“This is an exciting day,” said Governor Matt Mead. “The opening of the ITC shows Wyoming’s commitment to discovering and developing economically feasible uses for CO2. It shows Wyoming’s leadership in advancing coal technologies. The XPRIZE and Kawasaki Heavy Industries bring knowledge, resources and innovation, and we look forward to their work at the facility. I thank and congratulate all who made the ITC possible – the Wyoming Legislature, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and many others.”
“This is about making coal viable for America,” says Basin Electric CEO and General Manager Paul Sukut. “More than ever, in our time, this is one of the most important projects for America.”
“Affordable, plentiful and responsible energy is the lifeblood of the West, and through the ITC we see how energy connects us globally,” said Rick Gordon, chairman of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. “The ITC brings innovators from around the world to Wyoming to accelerate the development of technologies that can not only sustain our economy and benefit our members, but also have a worldwide impact.”
Wyoming Governor Matthew Mead was joined by Chief Executive Officer of Basin Electric Power Cooperative Paul Sukut, Chairman of the Board for Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association Rick Gordon, Senior Vice-President of Business and Technology Strategies for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Jim Spiers, Director of the Ministry of The Environment Government of Japan – Climate Change Projects Office, Climate Change Policy Division, Global Environment Bureau Yoshihiro Mizutani, President of the Japan Coal Energy Center Osamu Tsukamoto, and Senior Director of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE Marcius Extavour at the dedication ceremony. Each made remarks on the importance of the Wyoming ITC in advancing game-changing energy technologies.
“Electric co-ops are committed to a healthy environment and vibrant rural communities as they focus on putting the needs of their members first,” said Jim Spiers, NRECA’s SVP of Business and Technology Strategies. “As co-ops across the nation work to meet tomorrow’s energy needs, this project is poised to crack the carbon code and create a new future for managing carbon dioxide emissions. The Wyoming ITC is proof that public-private partnerships spur innovation.”
Representatives from the five final teams competing for the Carbon XPRIZE were also in attendance. The five teams hail from the United States, Canada, India, China and Scotland.
“The ITC will be a cornerstone of carbon innovation in Wyoming, and the entire country for years to come. This is the type of infrastructure we need to accelerate us on the path to a low-carbon future, and XPRIZE is thrilled to be a part of the journey,” said Dr. Marcius Extavour, senior director of Energy and Resources at XPRIZE and prize lead of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE.
In addition to teams competing for the XPRIZE, Kawasaki Heavy Industries will be testing their solid sorbent capture technology at the ITC. The State of Wyoming and Japan Coal Energy Center (JCOAL) have been working together since 2016, when Governor Mead and Osamu Tsukamoto, President of JCOAL, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) committing to cooperation in coal research and development of technologies and coal trade. JCOAL operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan and is supported by more than 120 member coal-related businesses, including Kawasaki Heavy Industries.