Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE): Storage Complex Facility

Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

This FOA supports the Office of Fossil Energy's (FE) mission to help the United States meet its continual need for secure, affordable and environmentally sound fossil energy supplies.  The research and development (R&D) sought under the FOA will build on the lessons learned from the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships’ large-scale field projects and the next set of technical challenges for carbon storage.  R&D projects awarded under the FOA represent a first step by FE in implementing Innovation Carbon Capture and Storage (iCCS), which is part of Mission Innovation - an initiative launched by the United States and 19 other countries to accelerate widespread clean energy technology innovation and cost reduction.

Proposed Federal and State regulations could severely restrict the ability of current and future fossil energy sources, particularly coal, to emit carbon to the atmosphere.  In addition, public demand for energy from low-carbon sources is growing and will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Given that the production of energy from fossil sources results in carbon dioxide, it is likely that carbon capture and storage (CCS) at a very large scale will be required for industrial emission sources to remain economical and publicly acceptable in the long-term.

Although significant advancements have been made in CCS technology in recent years, key gaps in experience and information must be addressed before CCS deployment can be considered “business as usual” for CO2 sources.

One of the key gaps in the critical path toward CCS deployment is the development of commercial-scale (50+ million metric tons CO2) geologic storage sites for CO2 from industrial sources.  There has been relatively little effort by the private sector to identify and certify (i.e., regulatory permit) geologic storage sites that are capable of storing commercial-scale volumes of CO2, primarily 

because of the lack of immediate economic incentives.  As a result, commercial-scale CO2 sources that want to develop CCS projects face the risk of not finding a suitable saline storage site for their captured CO2.  

CarbonSAFE is an effort to develop an integrated CCS storage complex constructed and permitted for operation in the 2025 timeframe over a series of sequential phases of development: Integrated CCS Pre-Feasibility, Storage Complex Feasibility, Site Characterization and Permitting and Construction.

This FOA, DE-FOA-0001450, focuses specifically on Phase II of the CarbonSAFE effort, Storage Complex Feasibility. 

Applicants to the Phase II FOA (this FOA), must provide evidence that the pre-feasibility evaluation and initial characterization of a storage complex have been completed, and that the storage complex has a high potential for commercial storage. Appendix A – Criteria to Determine Project State of Development, provides guidance on the information that must be submitted with the application such that a determination can be made by DOE of the proposed project’s level of readiness. The scope of Phase II (estimated duration of 2 years) focuses on one or multiple specific reservoirs within the defined storage complex and comprises efforts in data collection; geologic analysis; identification of contractual and regulatory requirements and development of plans to satisfy them; subsurface modeling to support geologic characterization, risk assessment, and monitoring; and public outreach. 

Simultaneous Applications to Phase I (DE-FOA-0001584) and Phase II (DE-FOA-0001450):  Applicants to this FOA (DE-FOA-0001450) are encouraged to also submit an application to the sister FOA (DE-FOA-0001584) for the same storage complex. In its review of applications, DOE may determine that the Phase II project proposed under DE-FOA0001450 does not satisfactorily meet the pre-feasibility objectives. However, the completion of additional pre-feasibility studies, as would occur under a Phase I award, may enable the storage complex to qualify for a subsequent Phase II award.

Deadlines: Aug. 23, 2016; Dec. 1, 2017  Feb. 28, 2018

Agency Website

Amount Description

Approximately $11,000,000 is expected to be available for new awards in FY 2016 and an additional $43,000,000 is expected to be available for awards under this announcement in years FY 2017 through FY 2020.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

February 28, 2018