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South Dakota Landowners vs. Summit Carbon Solutions



A landowning farmer in Brown County, South Dakota is currently embroiled in contentious litigation with CCS developer Summit Carbon Solutions over eminent domain claims made to Jared Bossly’s land. With this conflict recently gaining traction in the media, there are many questions swirling regarding the development of carbon capture & storage projects, the value of land for such projects, and how land acquisition for CCS projects such as this typically unfolds.


What is carbon capture and storage?


Carbon capture, also known as carbon capture and storage (CCS), is a process that aims to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), from industrial and energy-related sources. The primary goal of carbon capture is to reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere, thereby helping to address climate change.


The carbon capture process involves three main steps:


Capture: The first step is to capture CO2 emissions from power plants, factories, or other large industrial sources. There are different technologies for capturing CO2, including post-combustion capture, pre-combustion capture, and oxyfuel combustion.


Transport: Once captured, the CO2 needs to be transported to a suitable storage location. This transportation is usually done via pipelines or, in some cases, by shipping or trucks.


Storage: The final step is the storage of captured CO2. The CO2 is injected deep underground into geological formations, such as depleted oil and gas fields, saline aquifers, or other underground rock formations. The CO2 is stored securely and permanently to prevent its release into the atmosphere.


Carbon capture has the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from large-scale industrial sources. It can be integrated into power plants, steel mills, cement factories, and other facilities that produce substantial amounts of CO2. Additionally, carbon capture can be combined with other technologies, such as carbon utilization or enhanced oil recovery, to maximize its environmental and economic benefits.


The development of CCS projects that use pipelines for transportation require two main components before any work can begin: A developer to put the project into motion, and land upon which a project may be developed.


But where does that land come from? In most cases, access to and the use of private land is required for activities such as building and operating CO2 capture facilities, pipelines for CO2 transportation, and injection wells for storage. In the case of this conflict in South Dakota, Summit Carbon Solutions is making eminent domain claims against landowners to facilitate the construction of a pipeline on private property. In fact, over 80 landowners across 10 counties in South Dakota are estimated to be subjected to eminent domain lawsuits over the construction of this pipeline. 


How is the value of land for CCS development determined?


The determination of the value of land for carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects can involve various factors and considerations. Here are some key aspects that can influence the valuation of land for CCS projects:


Market Conditions: The current market conditions and trends in the real estate sector can play a role in determining the value of land. Factors such as demand and supply dynamics, location, and comparable sales in the area can influence the market value of the land.


Location: The location of the land in relation to the CCS project's infrastructure and storage sites can impact its value. Land situated in proximity to existing industrial facilities or suitable geological formations for CO2 storage may be more valuable due to logistical advantages and reduced transportation costs.


Land Characteristics: The physical attributes of the land, such as size, topography, geology, access to roads and utilities, and environmental conditions, can affect its value. Land that is well-suited for the construction and operation of CCS facilities, pipelines, and injection wells may be more valuable than land with constraints or limitations. Legal and


Regulatory Considerations: The legal and regulatory framework governing land use and CCS development in the specific jurisdiction can influence land value. Factors such as zoning restrictions, permitting processes, environmental regulations, and property rights can impact the feasibility and value of the land for CCS projects.


Potential Future Benefits: The potential long-term benefits associated with CCS projects, such as carbon credits or financial incentives for emissions reduction, may also factor into the valuation. These benefits can contribute to the overall attractiveness and value of the land for CCS development.


Negotiation and Agreements: The value of land for CCS projects is often determined through negotiations between the project developers and landowners. Agreements regarding lease terms, purchase prices, or compensation for land use can be reached based on various factors, including the project's economic viability, duration, and potential risks and impacts.


If that sounds complicated, that’s because it is. Fortunately, there are tools available to help streamline this process. LandGate provides methods and tools for developers and landowners alike to make informed decisions about CCS projects. 


How can developers find willing landowners for CCS development opportunities?


Landowners who are interested in selling or leasing their property for CCS development (or other energy resources) can list their property on LandGate. These listings are posted on PowerLeads where developers can find and contact willing landowners who are interested in CCS projects on their land.


How can landowners determine the value of their land for CCS projects?


LandGate’s CCS PowerVal is a fully-automated tool that provides landowners with economic reports based on parcel attributes such as size, geology, proximity to infrastructure, commodity prices, and more. These economic reports can be used to estimate the value of a landowner’s property for a CCS injection site. 


LandGate also provides landowners with property reports to estimate the value of other energy resources such as solar, wind, oil & gas, carbon credits, or mining. These estimates on resource values are free and offer landowners a way to learn more about their property. More information on land estimates by contacting info@landgate.com.


If you are interested in monetizing your land’s energy resources or selling your land outright, you can create a listing on LandGate’s website.

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