Cheyenne, Wyoming – The Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) will be featured at the upcoming TEDxCheyenne, highlighting the innovative private-public partnership that aims to reduce carbon emissions while depoliticizing the issue on the local, state and national level.
Jason Begger, Executive Director of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority, the agency charged with overseeing construction of the Wyoming ITC, will be a speaker at TEDxCheyenne in June. His featured talk is titled “How Rural, West America is Depoliticizing Carbon.”
“Governor Mead surprised many three years ago when he said that the time for debate over climate change was over,” said Begger. “In coal-rich, deeply Republican Wyoming, this was unprecedented. It set in motion a project that has brought together diverse partners from all sides of the climate change debate to focus on a shared goal – reducing carbon emissions.”
“For too long, reducing carbon emissions has been a political issue. It shouldn’t be. It should be a technical one,” said Begger. “Technologies developed and perfected at the Wyoming ITC have the potential to forever change our conversations surrounding climate change, carbon and coal – to take us past debate to solutions.”
The theme of the 2017 TEDxCheyenne is “Reckless: Fearlessness in Discovering the New or Unknown.” The event will be held on Friday, June 9 from 5:30 to 9:30 pm at the Atlas Theater in Cheyenne. Tickets are available for purchase at tedxcheyenne.com.
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.
About the ITC
The ITC is a public-private partnership designed to foster the next generation of energy technology. The ITC will provide space for researchers to test Carbon Capture, Utilization and Sequestration (CCUS) technologies using actual coal based flue gas from the Dry Fork Station near Gillette.
In 2014, with the support and encouragement of Governor Matt Mead, the Wyoming State Legislature allocated $15 million in funding for the design, construction and operation of an integrated test center to study the capture, sequestration and management of carbon emissions from a Wyoming coal-based power plant. An additional $5 million commitment from private industry was required under the appropriation, which has since been secured from the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association in addition to $1 million pledged from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Basin Electric Power Cooperative is providing additional in-kind contributions including engineering and construction management services at the Dry Fork Station host site, which is jointly owned by Basin Electric and the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.
The ITC is slated to be one of a handful of such facilities around the world and only the second one in the United States. While many carbon capture technologies are being developed and studied in laboratory settings, the ITC will be one of the few research and testing facilities at an operating coal-fired powered plant. The ITC will allow for real world testing at an active power plant and alleviates typical concerns over being able to transfer technology from a lab to a plant.