FutureGen releases specifications for site to host carbon dioxide storage facility

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FutureGen releases specs for CO2 storage site

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Design guidelines for a carbon dioxide storage facility that’s part of a massive energy project were released Wednesday to show central Illinois communities what’s necessary to compete for it.

The FutureGen Alliance plans to retool a Meredosia plant owned by Ameren Corp. to create power without harmful emissions in a $1.1 billion federally backed project. The carbon dioxide produced by burning coal at the plant would be pumped underground.

That’s where the new specifications come in.

FutureGen Alliance CEO Ken Humphreys said a formal request for proposals won’t be issued until later this month. The parameters were publicized now so that cities such as Springfield and Decatur know whether they have the capability to host the facility.

With the guidelines, they can “begin now to evaluate the opportunity, form proposal teams and acquire the resources, data and documentation that will be required for the competitive site selection process,” Humphreys said in a statement.

A newly constructed plant and storage space originally were planned for Mattoon, but the U.S. Department of Energy backed away in August and decided to use the existing plant.

FutureGen said the carbon dioxide storage site must meet technical requirement such as access to Mount Simon sandstone, which experts believe has large storage capacity.

The site-selection decision also will consider protection of the environment and public health around the site, how cheaply it can be constructed, and the ability to stay on schedule. Local community support also is crucial.

FutureGen plans to announce the site of the storage space in early 2011.

Online: www.futuregenalliance.org.

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