FutureGen trims shortlist for storage site

THE six Illinois locations that submitted bids to become the potential site of a carbon storage facility supporting the planned FutureGen near-zero emissions project have now become four.
FutureGen trims shortlist for storage site FutureGen trims shortlist for storage site FutureGen trims shortlist for storage site FutureGen trims shortlist for storage site FutureGen trims shortlist for storage site


Donna Schmidt

While an official statement has not yet been made, the FutureGen Alliance reportedly told the Associated Press Monday that the city of Quincy and Pike County north of St Louis were no longer under consideration.

A choice from the remaining sites in Douglas, Christian, Fayette and Morgan counties is due in February.

The FutureGen coal-fueled power plant itself will be located at a retrofit site in Meredosia, Morgan County.

The chosen site will be subject to an environmental evaluation by the US Department of Energy in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and will be fully permitted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The site must be able to meet the minimum requirements for FutureGen’s technical specifications, including access to the Mt Simon sandstone in Illinois.

Once constructed, the hub will receive and store carbon dioxide emissions from the power plant in Meredosia via pipeline, and that facility will be repowered using oxy-combustion technology. The location of the hub will also host FutureGen’s visitor, research and training facilities.

“The alliance's site selection decision will also consider other factors such as the protection of environmental resources and human health and safety, cost minimization, and the ability to meet the design and construction schedule,” the alliance said in early October, adding that local community support for the site would be a critical factor in the selection process.

The construction of FutureGen 2.0 is supported by a $US1 billion federal funding commitment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It is a smaller version of the original FutureGen project planned for Mattoon, Illinois, which was shelved last year.

In late September, the FutureGen Alliance signed a $533 million cooperative agreement with the Department of Energy. Under the deal, the alliance will maintain primary management responsibility and work with Ameren Energy Resources to site, develop, and operate a CO2 storage site that is permanent, along with the facility’s pipeline.