Expanding the Economy, Reducing Emissions

As Summit Carbon Solutions continues developing the world’s largest carbon capture and sequestration project, their vision remains the same – create jobs, boost markets, and permanently store CO2.
By Summit Carbon Solutions | May 03, 2022

Summit Carbon Solutions is moving forward with its plan to build the world’s largest carbon capture and sequestration project. This multi-billion dollar investment will connect ethanol biorefineries across five states in the upper Midwest, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, capture the carbon dioxide emissions from these facilities, compress these gases into a near liquid form, and transport it to North Dakota to be permanently and safely stored more than a mile underground.

By capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide emissions from partner ethanol biorefineries, Summit Carbon Solutions will cut the carbon footprint of their manufacturing process in half. In the process, this project will allow ethanol plants to access and sell their product at a premium in the growing low carbon fuel markets such as California, Oregon, Washington, and more. This shift will enhance the long-term economic viability of ethanol and maintain a strong market for corn growers who currently sell approximately half of their crops to local ethanol plants. 

“This project will be transformational for the ethanol industry and, by extension, the agriculture industry. Farmers and landowners in Iowa understand that ethanol production consumes more than 50% of our corn crop every year, which is a big reason why we’ve had early success signing hundreds of pipeline easements with farmers who have a vested interest in our success,” said Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group.

The ethanol industry plays a critical role across the United States. It supports 360,000 jobs, contributes more than $45 billion to annual U.S. GDP, utilizes approximately 40% of corn produced in the U.S., and provides a $14 billion boost to grain markets.

Thirty-two facilities have signed onto the project, which will put the ethanol producers on track to become a net-zero fuel by 2030. In addition to unlocking significant economic opportunities in the years to come, this project will help capture up to 12 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, or the equivalent of removing 2.6 million vehicles from the road on an annual basis.

“Siouxland Energy is proud to be part of a project that is transforming the ethanol industry. The Summit Carbon Solutions’ project is critical to strengthen the future of the agriculture industry. Without a reliable, competitive ethanol industry, the marketplace for corn growers will inevitably face significant challenges,” explained Jeff Altena, operations director at Siouxland Energy.

“Summit Carbon Solutions’ project will benefit farmers across the state by maintaining a strong corn market while supporting ethanol producers. The project will also provide additional tax revenue for the counties along the route and help the environment,” added Walt Wendland, CEO of Ringneck Energy, one of Summit Carbon Solutions’ ethanol plant partners in South Dakota.

Independent studies show that Summit Carbon Solutions proposed carbon capture and storage project will create jobs, generate new property tax revenue for local communities, support local suppliers, and strengthen the regional economy. Through its multi-billion-dollar investment, Summit Carbon Solutions will generate thousands of jobs, produce hundreds of millions of dollars in new property tax revenues for local communities, and more.
“Independent analysis shows the overwhelmingly positive impact of this multi-billion-dollar investment, including the creation of thousands of new high-quality jobs, the utilization of local suppliers and main street businesses, and tens of millions of dollars in new tax revenues that will help support investments in our roads, hospitals, first responders, and more,” said Rastetter.

In March, Summit announced a $250 million strategic investment from Continental Resources over the next two years. The investment will help fund the development and construction of the project’s associated capture, transportation, and sequestration infrastructure, while also leveraging its operational and geologic expertise to help ensure the safe and secure storage of carbon dioxide.

“Our goal since launching Summit Carbon Solutions has been to accelerate ethanol’s path to becoming a net zero fuel, which can be done in the near term and with proven technology,” said Justin Kirchhoff, president of Summit Ag Investors. “To accomplish that, we first partnered with forward-thinking ethanol producers, and we now look forward to working with Continental Resources, which has unmatched experience and knowledge of the Williston Basin in North Dakota, where we will permanently sequester our partner plants’ carbon dioxide.”

While the company has already filed permit applications in Iowa and South Dakota, it is focused on securing voluntary easements from landowners along the route. Summit Carbon Solutions has signed easements on more than 100 miles of the proposed route in Iowa. Additionally, the company is currently finalizing agreements that include an additional 70 miles of the proposed route in the state.
The company is on schedule to be operational in the first half of 2024.

Author: Summit Carbon Solutions

(Printed in Issue 1, 2022 of Carbon Capture Magazine, View Carbon Capture & Storage Directory)