The University of Wyoming will receive close to $2.4 million from the U.S Department of Energy for research aimed at laying the groundwork for two commercial carbon capture and storage projects in Wyoming.

The department’s Office of Fossil Energy announced today that UW is among 13 universities and other organizations selected to receive more than $44 million for cost-shared research and development. The funding is part of DOE’s Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise, or CarbonSAFE, initiative, which helps mitigate carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, according to a UW news release.

UW Associate Vice President for Communications Chad Baldwin said that the research is essential in providing a future for the Wyoming coal industry.

“This is a topic of significance to the state of Wyoming and particularly the coal industry. This research is essential to allow coal to be used in a traditional way to generate electricity,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin also said the competitive nature of the funding illustrates that UW School of Energy Resources is among the best in the field.

The UW projects are a pre-feasibility assessment for secure, commercial-scale CO2 capture and storage at the Rock Springs Uplift in Southwest Wyoming and a study of CO2 capture, transportation and storage opportunities at Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Power Station near Gillette.