Washington, DC - At a meeting today in Chicago, officials from the Department of Energy, the state of Illinois, Ameren, Babcock & Wilcox, American Air Liquide and the FutureGen Alliance discussed the next steps for the FutureGen 2.0 carbon capture and storage project in Illinois. The project remains on track for obligation before the end of September. Preparations will then begin for the repowering of Unit 4 at the Ameren facility in Meredosia, with construction set to begin in 2012. At the same time, following DOE best practices, a site selection process will be conducted to locate a site for the carbon sequestration research, repowering workforce training facility, visitor center, and long term CO2 repository.
"While we regret Coles County's decision not to participate in this first of its kind carbon capture and storage project, the Mt. Simon geological formation extends over much of downstate Illinois and offers many other possible locations for storage. We are encouraged by the response we've received from interested communities so far and look forward to working with the project team as they select a new sequestration center over the coming months," said James Markowsky, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the Department of Energy.
Communities that are interested in being considered as a storage site are encouraged to continue contacting the Department of Energy at email@example.com. A more formal process will be set up over the coming weeks. The eventual site will need strong geological characteristics, access to acreage pipeline right of ways and subsurface rights on ten square miles of contiguous acreage for sequestration, clear community support, and should be within approximately a 100 mile radius of Meredosia. Any town selected will benefit from jobs created not only for the injection and CO2 monitoring wells, but also from a planned research and visitor complex and workforce training center. Workers at the visitor and research complex will include the permanent employees responsible for the operation and maintenance of the transport pipeline network from the Meredosia power plant and the CO2 storage facility. The state-of-the-art international training center will prepare future operators for careers in coal plant repowering, future CO2 pipeline networks, and storage facility development.
The Illinois Geological Survey through the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), working with the Department of Energy, has performed assessments of the geology in downstate Illinois available for storage and is undertaking more detailed work this fall. The work performed by the MGSC will help with identifying sites for the storage facility and conducting the detailed baseline characterization.
"We look forward to working with the project team to successfully demonstrate this first of its kind commercial scale carbon capture and storage project with oxy-combustion technology," said Markowsky. "The lessons learned from this project will help to advance pollution reduction and carbon capture and storage from existing coal fired power plants in the U.S and around the world."