Carbon Capture Coalition Responds to Department of Energy’s Request for Information on Mid-Scale Commercial Direct Air Capture Demonstration Facilities 

May 10, 2024 | News

In April, the Carbon Capture Coalition commented on the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) Request for Information (RFI) on program design to support mid-scale commercial direct air capture (MSC DAC) demonstration facilities with capture capacities between 5,000 – 25,000 tons per year (TPY). By supporting the development of mid-scale DAC facilities, DOE seeks to address technological and financial gaps and challenges for those facilities whose capture capacity falls between the capture capacity defined in the first Regional DAC Hubs and other pre-existing federal support for smaller-scale DAC.  

The Coalition appreciates DOE identifying the role mid-scale commercial DAC facilities could play in the build-out of a robust carbon management industry. This aligns with the Coalition’s priorities to support advancing a full suite of carbon management technologies at various technology readiness levels, as reflected in the Coalition’s 2023 Federal Policy Blueprint.   

While the Coalition is in agreement with DOE’s intent to address funding gaps for the full range of DAC technologies and for potential funding to support the MSC DAC, in comments, the Coalition strongly recommended that DOE prioritize implementing previously announced projects within the Regional DAC Hubs program. Further, the Coalition urged DOE to adjust the definition of a MSC DAC facility to 1,000 TPY to 50,000 TPY; the rationale for the lower limit is to be consistent with the threshold for the eligibility of DAC facilities to qualify for 45Q, and the upper limit is to bridge the gap with existing federal funding programs. In addition, the Coalition highlighted additional areas of challenges to scaling MSC DAC not discussed in DOE’s RFI, including securing Class VI wells permits for geologic storage, pre-approval requirement for carbon reuse projects for the 45Q tax credit, and limited supplies of low- to zero-emissions energy. 

Amidst the apparent delay in awarding the funding for selected projects, the Coalition is concerned that DOE may not utilize the $3.5 billion appropriated for the Regional DAC Hubs program before the authorization expires in fiscal year 2026. Therefore, the Coalition urges DOE to ensure that the implementation of the MSC DAC facilities is complementary to the previously announced support and does not impact the timing and funding amount for projects and timelines that have already been selected. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration to ensure that DAC and other carbon management technologies can meet 2030 commercialization targets, ensuring we have the essential suite of technologies available to meet midcentury climate goals. 


 Convened by the Great Plains Institute, the Carbon Capture Coalition is a nonpartisan collaboration of more than 100 companies, unions, conservation and environmental policy organizations, building federal policy support to enable economywide, commercial scale deployment of carbon management technologies. This includes carbon capture, removal, transport, utilization, and storage from industrial facilities, power plants, and ambient air.