From Highway 59, the fenced-in scoria lot and adjoining modular building at the base of Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station north of Gillette blends into the background, squeezed between the sprawling, open pit coal mines that dot the high plains surrounding Campbell County. These grounds are home to the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC), which many in the state, including Gov. Mark Gordon, hope will put Wyoming on the frontlines of clean coal and carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technologies.
Since officially opening in May 2018, the ITC has thus far sat idle until this past January, when Colorado-based TDA Research officially moved its equipment onto the grounds to test technologies for keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Even now, the trailer-size, square steel box on a far corner of the lot is set up to be monitored from headquarters back in Wheat Ridge, and currently, there are no full-time staff on site, save for periodic visits from TDA Senior Scientist Dave Gribble and crew, who were in town briefly this winter to set up their equipment and run a few tests.