Meredosia to see benefits from FutureGen project

August 5, 2010
By: Jake Russell

Meredosia will soon be seeing an estimated 47 to 50 full-time jobs and several more construction jobs through the approval of funds for an experimental energy project.

The Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., announced Thursday that it will go forward with FutureGen, a project that originated six years ago in a national competition to test for a new type of combustion at coal-fired plants and ways to pipeline emissions. The state of Illinois won the competition before it was suspended for being too costly.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois was able to push for more than $1 billion in federal funding to build a commercially viable oxy-combustion facility that pipelines emissions to a safe location underground, reducing up to 90 percent of the emissions.

Oxy-combustion uses oxygen in a special atmosphere to ignite coal, Durbin said.

The project will retrofit the Ameren facility in Meredosia and run emissions into an existing pipeline to a collection facility for carbon dioxide and gases in Mattoon.

The Department of Energy chose the plants that will be retrofitted, Durbin said.

“Ameren is cooperating and that’s helpful,” he added.

Land acquisition and engineering will begin as early as this fall, Durbin said. The actual construction will start next year.