Colorado School of Mines and Carbon America Secure $32.6 Million for Carbon Storage Project

The funding provided by the DOE will cover various aspects of the project, including data collection, site characterization, planning, permitting, community and stakeholder engagement, and training for future CCS professionals.


Colorado School of Mines, in collaboration with Carbon America and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), has been granted $32.6 million by the U.S. Department of Energy’s CarbonSAFE initiative. The funding aims to support the development of a carbon storage hub in the Pueblo, Colorado region.

The project, named CarbonSAFE Eos after the Greek goddess of dawn and new beginnings, is among the nine selected initiatives receiving a total of $242 million from the DOE. These investments are intended to accelerate the advancement of large-scale carbon storage projects capable of securely storing 50 million metric tons or more of carbon dioxide deep underground.

The primary objective of CarbonSAFE Eos is twofold: to reduce industrial emissions from cement, hydrogen, and power plants, and to establish a community-centric model for responsible carbon capture and storage (CCS) that includes active participation from the local community to promote sustainable economic and social development. The funding announcement was made during the Carbon Management Symposium hosted by the Mines Global Energy Future Initiative.

Brad Crabtree, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the U.S. Department of Energy, emphasized the urgency and scale of the climate challenge and the need to expedite the establishment of CO2 storage hubs nationwide. He praised the Colorado School of Mines project as an important step toward that objective and expressed the department’s commitment to collaborating on this critical effort.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis also commended the initiative, highlighting its positive implications for the higher education system, students in Golden and Pueblo, and the environment. Polis noted that new laws were enacted in partnership with the legislature to reduce carbon emissions and pollution while delivering energy cost savings.

The funding provided by the DOE will cover various aspects of the project, including data collection, site characterization, planning, permitting, community and stakeholder engagement, and training for future CCS professionals. The project will be jointly led by Manika Prasad, Director of the Mines Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) Innovation Center, and Chris Cassle, Senior Geologist at Carbon America.

Prasad emphasized the need to go beyond current efforts to achieve global climate goals and highlighted the significance of large-scale carbon sequestration sites like the one envisioned for Pueblo. These sites have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by millions of metric tons while facilitating the transition to zero-emission energy generation.

Brent Lewis, CEO of Carbon America, viewed the grant as a significant milestone in their commitment to combating climate change and developing sustainable energy solutions. Lewis expressed excitement about collaborating with the exceptional researchers at Colorado School of Mines and Los Alamos National Lab, aiming to unlock new possibilities for carbon capture and storage and contribute to a cleaner and more resilient future.

The Eos project aspires to exemplify community-centered carbon capture and storage, focusing on how CCS in Pueblo can create quality jobs, attract business investment, promote environmental justice, and foster community partnerships. The CarbonSAFE initiative aligns with the DOE’s Justice 40 goals, which aim to ensure that 40 percent of the benefits from federal clean energy investments are directed towards disadvantaged communities and contribute to enhancing energy equity. In the event that the project advances to the operational phase, it will also provide funding for education in Colorado.

Ashleigh Ross, Vice President of Strategic Engagements and Policy at Carbon America, expressed enthusiasm about Pueblo’s potential to showcase a new energy future. Ross emphasized the importance of developing a community decarbonization solution that actively involves the community and lays the foundation for long-term social and economic success.

In addition to technical work, the project team will initiate early pre-planning outreach activities in the coming weeks to engage the community. The region will host community workshops to facilitate a two-way dialogue on the project and envision a community-centric CCS approach for the area.

Jessica Smith, a professor at Mines and a key member of the project team, highlighted the team’s commitment to establishing industry-community compatibility. Smith emphasized the project’s goal of becoming a national model for successful community relations in potential CCS projects and assured that the engagement strategy would be developed in collaboration with key stakeholders in Pueblo to ensure local responsiveness.

Related Stories