According to local news outlet the Morning Sentinel, the Securities and Exchange Commission filing submitted by the company late last week cited an inability to secure energy consumers.
“When we announced that we were doing the project, we listed as a requirement to move forward that we had to have long-term power contracts, and we weren't able to get those,” CMS spokesman Jeff Holyfield told the paper. CMS held a 15% stake in the project.
The move was also a strategic business decision for the company, Holyfield added, and not due to its confidence in the project’s potential – in fact, he said CMS anticipates Peabody’s future with the campus will be successful.
Peabody spokeswoman Beth Sutton told the paper the company’s plans are still full steam ahead.
The Prairie State Energy Campus, to feature dual 800MW units, will be fuelled by 6 million tons of coal from Peabody’s Lively Grove operation, and consumers of the power would primarily be Midwestern-based. Peabody said previously that more than half of the output has already been earmarked for six utility companies.
The $US2.5 million plant, currently in a site preparation and final design phase, is anticipated to create upwards of 1700 jobs during construction. As many as 450 permanent jobs could also be realised.
Sutton said that despite all of the campus’ obstacles thus far, it is still receiving a good amount of support from locals.
“Over 80 percent of Southern Illinoisans want to see this project break ground because it will be supplying a secure, reliable electricity, creating jobs and economic benefits and minimising the environmental impact,” she said.