Durbin, Quinn Statement on New FutureGen to Move Forward at Mattoon and Other Illinois Locations

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today responded to the Secretary of the Department of Energy, Steven Chu’s announcement that the Department will be moving forward with FutureGen 2.0 in Illinois. FutureGen 2.0 a cutting edge clean coal repowering program and a carbon dioxide (CO2) storage network that can be a model for the nation. Governor Quinn and Senator Durbin released the following statement:


“Three years ago, Illinois was announced as the national winner, today we are announcing that Illinois will still be in the lead when it comes to cutting edge coal research and creating jobs.


“Secretary Chu today confirmed that more than $1 billion in federal Recovery Act funding will be invested in Illinois to break ground on FutureGen 2.0 – a project centered in Mattoon with new projects in Meredosia and other parts of the state.


“Advances in other large scale carbon sequestration projects since then have required the Department of Energy to re-tool the project in order to keep the United States on the cutting edge of clean coal technology.


“The people of Illinois have overcome attempts to kill this program, delays and extensions since FutureGen was originally proposed six years ago.


“FutureGen 2.0 allows Illinois to remain a leader in innovative technology that will serve as a model for the nation. The new project stays true to the original goal of 90 percent CO2 capture and will provide thousands of good paying jobs in our state.


“We would like to thank Coles Together, the Department of Energy, the FutureGen Alliance, Congressman Tim Johnson and the Illinois Congressional Delegation for working hard with us to keep this project alive for so many years.”


FutureGen 2.0 will bring more than 1,000 construction jobs to downstate Illinois and another 1,000 jobs to suppliers across the state. The technology for repowering and retrofitting plants derived from FutureGen 2.0 will lead to a decade long project of repowering and retrofitting the 52 coal-fired power plants in Illinois, creating more than 30,000 jobs in our state over the next ten years. Across the country, 594 coal-fired plants could be candidates for retrofitting and repowering and thousands more globally. And the technology and the training center for those efforts will be centered in Illinois.


The more than $1 billion that was set aside for the original FutureGen project will be reprogrammed and awarded to the FutureGen Alliance, Babcock & Wilcox and Ameren to build FutureGen 2.0. The funding will support four primary areas of work in the state of Illinois:


  1. The Department of Energy and its partners will establish a regional deep saline injection CO2 storage facility in Mattoon, Illinois;

  2. The Department of Energy in cooperation with the Department of Labor and the Illinois Building Trades Council also plan to develop a regional training center on the Mattoon site to train workers in building and repowering coal-fired power stations with advanced technologies.

  3. The Department of Energy’s partners will retrofit and repower Ameren’s idle coal-fired power plant in Meredosia, Illinois with advanced Oxy –combustion technology which will dramatically reduce CO2, and other pollutants and create of 700 construction jobs and more than 50 permanent jobs; and

  4. The Department of Energy will support the construction of a first-of-its-kind Midwest regional CO2 transportation pipeline from the Meredosia facility to Mattoon, IL for sequestration.