The Williams Cos. Inc. and representatives from the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) met on campus recently to discuss the UW school’s programs and development potential, as well as the energy infrastructure company’s clean energy strategy in Wyoming.
The two companies have formed a relationship based on a shared ambition to invest in and explore new energy opportunities for Wyoming, particularly in hydrogen and carbon capture.
SER Executive Director Holly Krutka comments, “We are excited to see our goals align.” “The collaborative connection that has developed between SER and Williams will result in unique applied research that is linked to a commercial partner that can turn research findings into commercial investment. This kind of partnership has the potential to reshape and modernize the energy sector, allowing it to continue to be the backbone of Wyoming’s economy.”
The Wyoming Energy Authority recently awarded Williams, based in Tulsa, Okla., a grant to support efforts to build a hydrogen production and transportation hub in the state’s southwest region. The Wyoming Hydrogen Pilot Project will look at producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources. Williams will assess the impact of hydrogen on its local assets, including its southwest Wyoming pipelines.
The feasibility study is being conducted in collaboration with SER as a subawardee to assess water access and compatibility requirements for hydrogen generation.
Williams’ new energy ventures director, Brian Hlavinka, says, “We are proud to collaborate with the impressive team at the School of Energy Resources on this shared vision as we look at opportunities to leverage our existing pipeline network to bring clean hydrogen to market as well as implement carbon capture solutions.” “The capacity to produce clean hydrogen and blend it into our big existing system in southwest Wyoming is a tremendous benefit that has the potential to expedite hydrogen’s application in lowering carbon emissions.”
Williams is a midstream energy firm that handles 30 percent of the natural gas needed to heat homes, cook food, and produce electricity in the United States. Williams is committed to assisting its clients in achieving their sustainability goals, with a portfolio that is primarily focused on natural gas transportation. By investing in and developing innovative ways to fuel the clean energy economy, the company is satisfying the need for clean energy and reducing emissions.
The Williams team met with SER and Wyoming leadership representatives to discuss the project’s bigger scope and goal, as well as professionals from different SER facilities who will play a key role in its execution.
“The combined UW-Williams project team met to compare our objectives for the project and determine which areas we should expand,” says Charles Nye of SER’s Center for Economic Geology Research. “The legal study of surface water resources will now play a larger role for us.” I’m ecstatic that we’ve started this 18-month project.”
To explore southwest Wyoming water sources and treatments suited for electrolysis and hydrogen generation, Nye will lead a UW team that includes experts from the Center of Excellence for Produced Water Management and the Center for Energy Regulation and Policy Analysis.
“With Williams, we had a very fruitful two days,” Nye explains. “It was a pleasure to get to know the important players in the joint venture and develop a strategy for moving forward. We’re looking forward to seeing this idea get off the ground.”