Electric Co-ops Get Creative with Carbon Emissions

Tri-State Generation and Transmission, a power supplier for 18 of Colorado’s 22 electric cooperatives helped dedicate the Dry Fork Station Integrated Test Center on May 16, 2018. The ITC is host to the Carbon XPRIZE, in which participants compete for a total of $20 million in prize money. The goal for the XPRIZE is to incentivize the creation of commercial commodities from CO2 emissions in an effort to create a circular carbon economy. In 2016, coal-based generation facilities produced more than 1.2 metric tons of CO2.

The ITC project occupies over 200,000 square feet of space at the Dry Fork facility in Wyoming. The Carbon XPRIZE finalists will use one of five test bays, and will share access to flue gas produced by 1.5 MW of generation capacity from the coal plant.

Tri-State contributed $5 million to the ITC project after identifying the need “to provide venues for innovators to bring new [carbon utilization] technology forward,” according to Ellen Connor, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Tri-State.

XPRIZE finalists are proposing products like feedstock, foamed plastics and concrete — all created by using CO2 emissions from the coal plant. CREA will continue to track the XPRIZE and how solutions from forward-thinking innovators will trickle down to Colorado’s electric co-ops.