Black Hills Energy Explores Versatility of Wyoming Coal

Partnership effort promotes clean energy technology

GILLETTE, WY – May 1, 2023 – Black Hills Energy was recently awarded a grant from the Wyoming Energy Authority (WEA) to conduct a feasibility analysis on hydrogen generation using coal from Wyodak Mine in Campbell County. The ongoing research project partners engineers from Black Hills Energy with clean power production experts from Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, as well as members of the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department at Ohio State University, including Distinguished Professor L.S. Fan, PhD, a pioneer in clean energy technology.

WEA Program Director Anja Richmond said about the awarded project, “Our mission at WEA is to embrace an all of the above energy strategy towards reducing emissions. In doing so, we encourage innovation that supports the continued relevancy of every power generation source, including coal. The collaboration and advancement of exploring critical new ways to use Wyoming coal present great potential for our state.”

The innovative technology called BrightLoopTM chemical looping, is an oxidation reduction chemical process that produces hydrogen and a nearly pure product stream of carbon dioxide without the need for expensive carbon capture equipment to extract the carbon emissions.

“Over 30 years of research has led us to this opportunity to unite clean energy technology with Wyoming’s important and abundant energy resources,” said Mark Stege, Black Hills Energy’s vice president of Wyoming operations. “We are honored by this grant and the prospect of leveraging innovative hydrogen technology to deliver efficient energy to customers.”

A conceptual design and estimate for a semi-commercial scale plant will be developed as part of the analysis. If determined to be feasible and cost-effective, a second phase would include the construction of a pilot scale facility using the BrightLoopTM technology at Black Hills Energy’s Neil Simpson Complex in Wyoming.

“We are excited to work with Black Hills Energy to develop a solution that will help them achieve their goals of creating and preserving jobs, diversifying Wyoming’s energy production and establishing new markets for the state’s natural resources,” said B&W Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Morgan. “We thank Black Hills Energy for this opportunity and for the confidence they have shown in B&W’s BrightLoop technology.”

Derek Silbaugh, director of power delivery management at Black Hills Energy and Will Lata, new technology commercialization program manager for Babcock and Wilcox will speak about the partnership on a panel at the upcoming Wyoming Energy Authority Next Frontier Energy Summit May 9, 2023 in Cheyenne, WY.