Technology giant Microsoft signed a deal with California-based CarbonCapture to purchase direct air capture (DAC) carbon removal credits last week.
A climate tech company, CarbonCapture is currently developing a large DAC facility in Wyoming that will follow a phased rollout plan to capture and store five million tonnes of atmospheric CO2 a year by 2030.
Dubbed ‘Project Bison,’ the site is expected to be the first commercial-scale project to utilise Class VI injection wells to permanently store CO2 captured from ambient air using DAC technology.
Project Bison’s carbon removal credits are sold to organisations with Net Zero goals and want to offset unavoidable emissions.
Philip Goodman, Director of the Carbon Removal Portfolio at Microsoft, said that this agreement with CarbonCapture helps Microsoft move toward its carbon negative goal, while also helping us to catalyse the growth of the DAC industry as a whole.
Adrian Corless, CEO and Chief Technology Officer of CarbonCapture, said that validation of CarbonCapture’s scalable approach to DAC from a forward-thinking company like Microsoft is an important signal to the entire market, demonstrating the value of high-quality carbon removal credits.
One of Many Deals
The agreement marks the latest in a series of carbon removal deals announced by Microsoft, forming part of the company’s initiative to become carbon negative by 2030, and to remove all its historical emissions by 2050.
Microsoft recently announced another DAC-based agreement with startup Climeworks to permanently remove 10,000 tons of CO2 emissions, and earlier this month the company entered its first agreement for ocean-based carbon dioxide removal, with ocean health company Running Tide.
Carbon Capture’s DAC machines use solid sorbents that soak up atmospheric CO2 when cooled and release concentrated CO2 when heated. The captured CO2 can then be permanently stored underground or used to make synthetic fuels, low-carbon concrete, carbon black, or other industrial products that require clean CO2.
It was in 2020 that Microsoft announced an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint. By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975.
“We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. We have launched an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain. We will fund this in part by expanding our internal carbon fee, in place since 2012 and increased last year, to start charging not only our direct emissions, but those from our supply and value chains,” Microsoft said at that time.