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Funding announcement: DOE invests in carbon dioxide transport through CIFIA Future Growth Grants

May 14, 2024 Work Area: Carbon Capture

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) just released a funding opportunity through the Carbon Dioxide Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation (CIFIA) program. The future growth grants are uniquely designed to support the infrastructure needed to move captured CO2 from industry, power, and direct air capture facilities to where it can be utilized or permanently stored.  

Quick take: What it is, why it is important 

The CIFIA Future Growth Grants program offers $500 million in funding to develop common carrier CO2 transport systems that can connect two or more carbon capture sources to one or more conversion or storage sites. The scope of potential projects is intentionally broad: it allows for the transport of CO2 from sources such as industrial, power, and CO2 removal technologies. Projects must include both a base and expanded proposal to be selected. A single project could be awarded between $31 and $125 million with a 20% cost share from awardees. 

This funding is an important next step to expand CO2 transport infrastructure. The International Energy Agency estimates that global efforts are needed to capture and store around 1,200 million metric tons of CO2 annually by 2030 to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. As of the 2023 Global Status report by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, operational projects across the world had the capacity to capture 49 million metric tons per year of CO2, illustrating there is a long way to go to reach this goal. This necessary increase in capture capacity will require a substantial buildout of CO2 transport infrastructure, and experts project the need to build a network of more than 65,000 miles of CO2 pipelines across the U.S. to meet a U.S. net-zero target.  

Considerations for applicants: Community engagement is key

These transport systems must be designed collaboratively to maximize the impact of this federal funding to increase the capacity of CO2 transport networks across the United States. Critically, these systems must incorporate community perspectives and concerns. Applicants should: 

  • Engage with local communities to understand how to properly involve diverse community perspectives early and while developing applications to ensure proposals are designed with community needs and concerns in mind.  
  • Communities may raise concerns about proposed pipeline routes. Developers should address these concerns where possible to minimize conflict and maximize project success. 
  • Work to understand what activities will deliver community benefits most needed by the community. 
  • Submit a letter of interest, optional in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), to get confirmation of eligibility and favorable status to submit an application by DOE. 

We encourage applicants to keep these in mind in the development of their required community benefits plan as described in the recently updated DOE guidance for the program. More on community benefits plans from CATF here.  

Considerations for DOE: Prioritize and manage projects to maximize climate and community benefits

The projects approved by DOE must meet their intended goal of connecting carbon capture system infrastructure to advance decarbonization while realizing local benefits through community benefit plans, such as local workforce development. DOE should: 

  • Review available research to learn where transport infrastructure will be most needed and prioritize projects in the right locations. 
  • Meet with communities to learn about local concerns and identify potential benefit opportunities to factor into negotiations and review of community benefit plans. 
  • Set strong transparency and community engagement standards through the negotiation process as conditions of award, and publicly share aggregated learnings from these projects.  
  • Provide technical assistance and resources to support community engagement and provide information about project impacts that matter to the community – whether related to labor, air quality, or other topics. 

What comes next 

Applications are due by July 30, 2024 with selections expected by December 2024. Projects that are selected for CIFIA Future Growth Grants will be subject to DOE funding program requirements including Justice 40, community engagement, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, and other permitting requirements. All are important for these projects to be successful. Each phase will include a go/no go decision, and projects will need to comply with these requirements to continue to receive funding. 

For more information about federal funding resources to support decarbonization and carbon capture activity across the U.S., see CATF’s U.S. Implementation Resource Hub and U.S. Carbon Capture Activity and Project Map

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