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Wyoming Integrated Test Center Groundbreaking Slated for April 27 
Media Invited to Attend Ceremony & Roundtable Discussion on
Cutting Edge Carbon Research Facility

Gillette, Wyoming – Construction for the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, a cutting edge carbon research facility, will officially kick off Wednesday, April 27, at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Dry Fork Power Station, owned by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and the Wyoming Municipal Power Agency.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead will lead the groundbreaking ceremony along with representatives from Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE. Local and state leaders, as well as additional project partners, will also be in attendance. 

“I am excited to see what advancements in carbon dioxide use and opportunities in petrochemicals come from the great minds at the Integrated Test Center,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “Wyoming leads the nation in coal production and the ITC allows us to show the same leadership in research. We are investing in the future of coal – so the industry can continue to serve Wyoming and the Nation for generations to come.”

Details are as follows:

Wyoming Integrated Test Center
Groundbreaking Ceremony
April 27, 2016, 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. 
The Dry Fork Station

12460 N Highway 59

Gillette, Wyoming

“Basin Electric is pleased to provide the host site for this innovative project, which has much potential for our energy future,” says Paul Sukut Basin Electric CEO and general manager. “We believe that between human and industry ingenuity, partnerships and bold leadership, we can not only create a viable future for coal, but reduce carbon dioxide emissions without adversely impacting our local economies. This project is one step in that direction, and we look forward to seeing the results of so many innovative individuals.”

“Tri-State is proud to provide financial support to the State of Wyoming for the development of the ITC,” said Mike McInnes, CEO of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. “With our partners, we’ve worked tirelessly to spur a new path for entrepreneurship and innovation in carbon management, which culminates with the breaking of ground for the ITC and the hosting of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE."

“The Integrated Test Center is a shining example of how America’s Electric Cooperatives are pushing the boundaries of innovation," said  James P. Spiers, Vice President Business and Technology Strategies, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. " From distributed generation and renewable energy to cyber security and carbon capture, co-ops are collaborating with public and private interests to meet the needs of their member-consumers’ quality of life and economic prosperity for the 21st century through the delivery of safe, reliable and affordable electricity."

“XPRIZE is excited to collaborate with ITC in this first-of-its-kind opportunity to bring low-carbon energy innovation to electric power, one of the most important technology challenges facing the world today,” said Paul Bunje, senior director and principal scientist of XPRIZE’s Energy & Environment team. “ITC gives global innovators competing in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE a world-class space to test potentially revolutionary technologies that could change how we tackle carbon emissions and develop energy technology long into the future.”

Following the groundbreaking ceremony, a one-hour roundtable discussion will be held with Governor Matt Mead and representatives of partner organizations. The press will have the opportunity to ask questions to all the speakers. Due to limited space and security, the general public will be unable to attend the ceremony. Photos and video will be made available following the event. 

To attend, media are required to RSVP by Tuesday, April 26. To RSVP, contact Kristin Walker at 307-690-4705 or via email at info@wyomingitc.org. Identification will be required to enter the facility. The Dry Fork Station is located approximately 15 minutes from downtown Gillette. 

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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 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 is providing the host site as well as many additional in-kind contributions including engineering and construction management services.

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.

Pre-construction engineering and design work started in 2015. Last month, when the Dry Fork Station went into routine maintenance mode, a large steel damper was installed into the flue system that will help direct gas to researchers at the test center. The ITC is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017.

Wyoming Infrastructure Authority
 200 E 17th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82001
307-635-3573    jason.begger@wyo.gov