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Summit Carbon Solutions given more time to finalize South Dakota pipeline route

Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions also reports it has raised more than $1 billion for its pipeline project that will help ethanol plants lower their carbon score by capturing greenhouse gas emissions and piping the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.

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PIERRE, S.D. — Summit Carbon Solutions will have more time to update its proposed carbon capture pipeline route in South Dakota.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday, June 8, to extend the deadline indefinitely for Summit to finalize its route.

Summit had asked for an extension until October to finalize its route. When Summit updates its permit, the PUC can then decide on whether it will accept more landowners as intervenors in the case depending on how much the route has changed.

More carbon capture coverage
The carbon capture system will phase in 18 of POET’s bioprocessing facilities in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The project also includes ethanol plants in Minnesota and Illinois, where the carbon will be stored.
The decision means carbon pipeline companies must file for a siting permit with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Without statewide authority, permitting would have been left up to individual counties along the pipeline route.
Summit Carbon Solution's $4.5 billion plan is to connect to 32 ethanol plants in five states: Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, sending liquid carbon dioxide from the plants to be stored underground in North Dakota. Summit says the pipeline project will help ethanol plants lower their carbon score by capturing greenhouse gas emissions and piping the CO2 to western North Dakota for underground storage.

The five-state project aims to capture carbon emissions from ethanol plants and pipe it to North Dakota for storage.

The commission denied a request from Brian Jorde of Domina Law, which represents many landowners, to dismiss Summit’s current application and make the Iowa-based company submit a new application, essentially starting the process over.

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Summit filed for a pipeline permit in February, triggering a series of public hearings.

Bill Van Camp, an attorney representing the seven ethanol plants that have intervened in the docket, spoke against requiring a new application.

“My clients are here in support of the project because sequestration of carbon is the future of the ethanol industry and is essential.”

He noted the announcement POET, the largest biofuel producer, has signed onto a different carbon pipeline project led by Navigator CO2 Ventures , which also will likely come before the commission.

Ed Fishback, who identified himself as a farmer and landowner along the current route, followed by expressing frustration with Summit.

“They’re not finding people that are willing to accept their route,” Fishback said. “Let them start over and let them come up with a set plan.”

Comments at the hearings and submitted on the PUC docket have been mostly negative, with landowners concerned about the use of eminent domain, damage to farmland and safety issues with a hazardous material.

“This is not an argument for or against ethanol, this is an argument of landowner rights and what this company is doing to the landowners,” Fishback said.

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Commission Chairman Chris Nelson made the motions to give Summit more time and reject the request for a new application.

“We are not at a fatal juncture,” Nelson said.

A map of the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline project

Reach Jeff Beach at jbeach@agweek.com or call 701-451-5651 (work) or 859-420-1177.
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