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Department of Energy Formally Commits $1B in Recovery Act Funding to FutureGen 2.0

30 September 2010

The US Department of Energy has signed final cooperative agreements with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance and Ameren Energy Resources that formally commit $1 billion in Recovery Act funding to build FutureGen 2.0. (Earlier post.)

As part of this new initiative, the Department of Energy will partner with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance to select an Illinois host community for the carbon storage site as well as a geologic sequestration research complex and a craft labor training center. This site could eventually become a regional CO2 storage site in downstate Illinois.

In August, DOE announced its intention to fund FutureGen 2.0 as part of an integrated strategy to repower America’s coal industry. Ameren Energy Resources, Babcock & Wilcox, and Air Liquide Process & Construction, Inc. are leading the project to repower Ameren’s 200 megawatt Unit 4 in Meredosia, Illinois with advanced oxy-combustion technology.

The plant’s new boiler, air separation unit, CO2 purification and compression unit will deliver 90% CO2 capture and eliminate most SOx, NOx, mercury, and particulate emissions.

The FutureGen Industrial Alliance and the Ameren, B&W, and Air Liquide team are developing a technical cooperation agreement to ensure coordination among each element in FutureGen 2.0 and to provide the foundation for rapid commercial deployment for this technology once this initial facility is operational.

The FutureGen Industrial Alliance, working with the State of Illinois, will develop a permanent CO2 sequestration facility, research and visitors facilities, and a labor training center at the site. The Alliance will also build a CO2 pipeline network from Meredosia to the sequestration site. The pipeline and storage site will transport and store more than 1 million tons of captured CO2 per year.

The pipeline network, along with the storage site to be selected in early 2011, will help to lay the foundation for a regional CO2 network. The Illinois storage site will be used to conduct research on site characterization, injection and storage, and CO2 monitoring and measurement.

September 30, 2010 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

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There is little doubt that sequestering carbon deep undergound works, and will work very well on a scaled up power plant. I don't think that has ever been in dispute. Unfortunately, we get to have academia spend copious amounts of time and our tax dollars to have a bunch of PhD's and their grad students tell us what we already know, in order to milk the grant money for all its worth, then try to get more grant money.

What is in dispute is who is going to pay for converting all coal fired power plants to sequestering power plants. Either way, all of us will have to pay - either through increased energy bills or more taxes. But will the costs be worth the benefits? Al Gore would say yes. I say only that percentage of the population that thinks it would be worth it should pay for all the retrofits, pipelines, and injection infrastructure.

Maybe we get repaid by eliminating the other pollutant emissions of coal combustion along with the CO2.

It would be nice to keep the sulfur and mercury out of the environment. FutureGen was touted by the previous administration as "Clean Coal" but then they pulled the plug the last year and told them they were on their own. FutureGen is one of those programs that you want to continue, but NOT the same way that is was run in the past.

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