National Grid and the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) have announced today that they intend to test a saline formation site off the coast of Yorkshire for CO2 storage.
The multi-million pound project will drill into the geological formation 70 km off Flamborough Head to assess its suitability to form part of a carbon capture and storage (CCS) network in the north of England.
The ETI is investing £2 million in the investigation that will see National Grid lead the drilling programme into the porous sandstone rock 1 km below the seabed.
The assessment will look at whether the site can safely and permanently store CO2 from multiple power stations and industrial sites in the vicinity, and the scale and economy of the site.
“We believe we are the first in the UK to physically assess a saline site for the storage of CO2,” says Jim Ward, head of CCS at National Grid. “This drilling operation is a major step forward in the development of long term, large scale CCS cluster of transportation networks and storage facilities in the UK.”
Initial indications are that the site is very large and could store CO2 from several sources over a number of decades. The site is also relatively close to the shore and in the vicinity of two major clusters of CO2 emitters in the UK.
“Our own independent analysis has shown that the storage site selected by National Grid is amongst the most promising stores in the UK sector, and has itself the potential to provide a strategically important UK storage resource,” says Andrew Green of ETI’s CCS programme.
The announcement has been welcomed as “tremendous news” by the Carbon Capture and Storage Association, with chief executive Jeff Chapman commenting:
“The appraisal work marks an important step towards the development of saline formations - storage sites which contain by far the largest estimated storage capacity in the UK, and will therefore be fundamental to the establishment of commercial CCS networks that will enable the UK to move cost-effectively towards a low carbon economy.”
For further information:
UK licences first permanent CO2 storage site in North Sea (19-Jul)
World’s largest CCS demonstration project opens in Norway (9-May)
US, Canada and Mexico map carbon storage sites (2-May)
10 October 2012