FutureGen Project Sacked, Replaced by ‘FutureGen 2.0′
The Department of Energy announced today that it is planning to abandon a years-long effort to build a coal-fired power plant in Illinois that would release almost no greenhouse gas emissions. The poster child for “clean coal” projects, the plant faced years of delays and setbacks after it was first proposed in 2003.
The embattled project was seen by many experts as the nation’s test-case for whether the country can adequately capture and store harmful greenhouse gas emissions from coal power plants.
The Energy Department announced today that it would create FutureGen 2.0 by retrofitting a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia, Ill., with “advanced oxy-combustion technology,” and that it would dedicate $1 billion of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the project. The technology, according to the Energy Department, “burns coal with a mixture of oxygen and [carbon dioxide] instead of air to produce a concentrated [carbon dioxide] stream for safe, permanent, storage.”
That concentrated carbon dioxide will then be transported through a pipeline to a new carbon storage facility in Mattoon, Ill., the original site of the now-defunct FutureGen project. “FutureGen 2.0 stays true to the original spirit of the FutureGen project by advancing technology that can make the United States a world leader in carbon capture and storage,” an Energy Department press release says.