A top official from the U.S. Department of Energy will visit the University of Wyoming this week to see the state’s investments in fossil energy technology and the mining industry, UW announced Friday.
Steven Winberg, assistant secretary of fossil energy, will be on the campus Friday to tour university facilities and hear about UW energy research. Winberg and several department staff members are touring Wyoming’s energy industry and research facilities over the course of three days.
“It is exciting that Assistant Secretary Winberg will be able to spend a significant amount of time in Wyoming,” Gov. Mark Gordon said in a news release. “As the leading coal-producing state in the country and home to some of the most innovative fossil energy research, I am thrilled to highlight firsthand and on the ground the areas where Wyoming has led the way in energy and forward-looking climate solutions. I look forward to working with DOE to find avenues to move these important technologies toward commercialization.”
Winberg will tour the university’s Energy Innovation Center and learn about UW’s research in various fields: carbon capture and storage, air quality, carbon engineering, rare earth elements and enhanced oil recovery. Winberg will also take a “virtual energy tour” of the state in UW’s Shell 3D Visualization Center.
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He will visit the High Bay Research Facility, the drilling simulator in the new Engineering Education and Research Building, and UW’s Produced Water Management Center.
Winberg will visit the site of a UW-led test well near Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station in Campbell County earlier in the week. The station helps determine the suitability of underground geologic formations for commercial carbon dioxide storage, according to the announcement, part of the Wyoming CarbonSAFE project that is funded by the department’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise initiative.
Gordon extended an invitation to tour the state when he and Winberg met in May at the Utah Energy Summit. Gordon has championed advancing carbon capture utilization and storage technologies, the news release said. In 2019, he requested $10 million from the Legislature in matching funds for a precombustion pilot project, $5 million of which was appropriated.