Update on FutureGen 2.0

Update on FutureGen 2.0

The FutureGen Alliance and the Department of Energy continue to pursue building FutureGen 2.0 by upgrading a power plant in Meredosia and transporting carbon emissions to an underground site east of Jacksonville in Morgan County. Here's more:

-- In January the FutureGen Alliance sold land earmarked for the original site near Mattoon for $700,000 after paying $3.5 million for the property in 2008, according to FutureGen spokesman Lawrence Pacheco.

-- Pacheco said drilling of a 4,812-foot-deep characterization well for FutureGen 2.0 in Morgan County began in October and reached the sandstone level in December.

-- He said the route for the 30-mile pipeline is expected to be announced in the near future.

-- In February the Alliance reported the current budget for FutureGen 2.0 is $1.3 billion, with $1 billion coming from the Department of Energy and $300 million coming from FutureGen partners.

-- Four earlier partners in the FutureGen Alliance — American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio; Luminant of Dallas; PPL Energy Services Group LLC of Allentown, Pa.; and Southern Co. of Atlanta — have dropped out of the alliance.

Remaining partners are Alpha Natural Resources of Bristol, Va.; AngloAmerican of London; CONSOL Energy of Cecil Township, Pa.; Joy Global Inc. of Milwaukee; Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities Co.; Peabody Energy of St. Louis; Rio Tinto of London; and Xstrata Coal of Zug, Switzerland.

Two other companies, Exelon Corp. and Caterpillar, have announced their intentions to join the alliance, Pacheco said.

-- The FutureGen Alliance is submitting an application to the Illinois Power Agency for a power purchase agreement for FutureGen 2.0. The agreement would allow power from the plant to be sold to customers in Illinois.

Pacheco said the alliance has also applied for an underground injection control permit from the federal government.

-- He said construction of the power plant, pipeline and storage facility could begin in early 2013, with the repowering of the Meredosia plant scheduled to be completed and operational in early 2017.

This story appeared in print on April 8.