Durbin Asks Energy Secretary to Approve Next Phase of FutureGen 2.0 Project in Meredosia
Approval of cooperative agreement will clear the way for design and engineering for plant that will create 1,000 jobs in downstate Illinois
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Following a vote today by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in favor of the power purchase agreement for the power that will be generated by the FutureGen plant in Meredosia, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve the next phase of the FutureGen 2.0 project which includes preliminary design, pre-construction and engineering.
“The ICC’s decision today solidifies the FutureGen plant’s financial viability. I thank Governor Quinn for his leadership on this issue,” said Durbin. “Much work has already been done – a sequestration site has been identified in Morgan County, and test drilling has been undertaken. Once the Department of Energy finalizes the cooperative agreement, this project can formally move into the next phase of retrofitting a power plant in Meredosia. The FutureGen Alliance remains strong and committed to its goal of making Illinois and the United States a world leader in cutting-edge technology that will improve the environment and create good-paying jobs.”
In a letter to Secretary Chu, Durbin urged the Department of Energy to move quickly to approve the FutureGen Alliance’s pending novation and execute the next phase of the cooperative agreement. He also called for that in a December 6, 2012 meeting with Secretary Chu in his Capitol office.
On February 28, 2011, Morgan County was chosen to host the FutureGen 2.0 carbon dioxide (CO2) storage site, visitor center, research, and training facilities. The FutureGen 2.0 project and pipeline network is expected to bring 1,000 jobs to downstate Illinois and another 1,000 jobs for suppliers across the state. The FutureGen Industrial Alliance is a non-profit membership organization that includes some of the largest coal producers, coal users, and coal equipment suppliers in the world. Members of the Alliance include: Alpha Natural Resources, AngloAmerican, CONSOL Energy Inc., Joy Global Inc., Peabody Energy and Xstrata Coal Pty Limited.
[Text of today’s letter is below]
December 19, 2012
The Honorable Steven Chu
United States Department of Energy
Forrestal Building, Room 7B138
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20585-0800
Dear Secretary Chu:
Today, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a power purchase agreement for the power that the FutureGen plant in Meredosia will generate, solidifying the plant’s financial viability. With the power purchase agreement approved, I urge the Department of Energy to move quickly to approve the FutureGen Alliance’s pending novation and execute the next phase of the cooperative agreement.
The State of Illinois has acted, and once the Department of Energy finalizes the cooperative agreement, this project can formally move into the next phase -- retrofitting a power plant in Meredosia. Much work has been done already. A sequestration site has been identified in Morgan County, and test drilling has been undertaken.
The FutureGen project will test an industrial-size oxy-combustion technology that will significantly reduce traditional pollutants, as well as carbon dioxide. This technology will be crucial for a cleaner, low–carbon future. The scientific data is mounting, and our earth is warming. FutureGen has the potential to make a real and lasting reduction in carbon dioxide while still using coal to generate energy.
I appreciate the careful attention that you and the Department of Energy have paid to this important project and urge you to quickly approve the novation and cooperative agreement.
U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin
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