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Illinois regulators approve FutureGen power purchase agreement
The State of Illinois has a goal to purchase 25 percent of its electricity from clean coal electricity with carbon capture and storage. On December 19, 2012, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the terms of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the FutureGen 2.0 project. The agreement requires the state’s electric utilities (ComEd and Ameren Illinois), as well as the alternative retail electric suppliers (ARES), to purchase electricity from FutureGen 2.0 for 20 years.
The ICC’s approval is strong both with respect to protecting Illinois ratepayers and providing the necessary cost recovery mechanism for FutureGen’s electricity. The Alliance recognizes that the ICC was faced with a complex matter and appreciates the extensive amount of time the ICC commissioners and staff put into the effort. It is a clear demonstration of Illinois’ leadership on clean coal technology.
Deal signed for purchase of the Meredosia power plant
In late 2011, the Meredosia Energy Center (MEC) closed its doors. At the time, Ameren Energy Resources pledged to work with the Alliance to make portions of the MEC available to the FutureGen 2.0 project. Ameren Energy Resources fulfilled that pledge when a contract was executed for the sale of a portion of the MEC to the Alliance in January 2013. Under the agreement, Ameren Energy Resources will continue maintenance at the energy center to keep it in a condition suitable for future retrofitting. In 2014, immediately prior to the start of construction and when all conditions are met, ownership of the pertinent part of MEC will formally transfer to the Alliance.
On February 5th, recognizing the successful approval of the PPA’s terms and other progress on the project, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) approved the start of Phase 2 of FutureGen 2.0. Phase 2 will include the final permitting and design activities that precede a decision to start construction. Phase 2 will run through early Summer 2014. Also included in this phase of work is DOE’s completion of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A draft EIS is expected to be released by DOE this Spring with a public meeting to discuss the project following soon after.
Pipeline route unveiled
In late February, the Alliance unveiled the proposed route for the FutureGen 2.0 pipeline. The pipeline will safely transport CO2 from the Meredosia Energy Center to the storage site near Ashland. All landowners affected by the pipeline have been notified by certified mail and invited to meetings to discuss the pipeline. For landowners who were unable to attend the meetings, other opportunities to learn about the pipeline are being provided. In general, there are more than 4,500 miles of CO2 pipelines in the U.S. and they have an exceptional safety record.
Pipeline key facts:
- The pipeline will be approximately 30 miles long and less than 12 inches in diameter.
- The FutureGen Alliance will own the pipeline.
- The FutureGen Alliance has signed an agreement with the Illinois Department of Agriculture that is designed to mitigate the agricultural impacts associated with the pipeline
- Affected landowners will be compensated if the pipeline crosses their property and/or temporarily affects crop production.
- On farmland, the pipeline will be buried at least 5 feet deep to allow farming activity to continue above the pipeline once construction is completed.
- The FutureGen Alliance will be applying to the ICC for approval to construct and operate the pipeline.
- The pipeline will be designed to meet or exceed all applicable federal and state regulatory requirements.
- The transported CO2 is cleaner than what would normally be released into the atmosphere. At the purity levels and pressures that the CO2 is transported, it is non-corrosive and not flammable.
Alliance staff will be available to answer questions or address concerns. Questions or concerns can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (217) 243-8427.
Next phase of geologic characterization completed at CO2 storage site
Characterization of the storage site geology began in Phase 1 of the project. The findings were very positive. During Phase 2 of the project, additional characterization work has occurred to further confirm the integrity of the site and provide additional data to support final design.
One of geologic characterization techniques that has been used is called a vertical seismic profiling (VSP). VSP involves temporarily placing a long string of microphones (called geophones) down into the previously drilled characterization well. Next, a large truck with a vibrating plate on the bottom (called a vibroseis or “thumper” truck) vibrates its plate against the ground near the characterization well. The vibrating plate creates soundwaves that travel through the earth. The soundwaves are measured and collected by the geophones. Based on the information gathered it will become possible to draw a picture of the storage site’s geology.
Depending on whether you are standing on bedrock or soil, you may have to get within 50 feet of a thumper truck to feel the vibrations. The Alliance added additional buffer space by instructing the VSP contractor to stay 300 feet away from any building, man-made structure or known water well. Additional equipment that was used included a truck to record the data and a crane to lower the geophones into the characterization well. This activity took about two days to complete in late-March.
Contact: Gretchen Hund
FutureGen Citizens’ Board
FutureGen Citizens’ Board is an important component of the Alliance’s stakeholder engagement program to make the project more accessible to the community, to provide information to citizens in Morgan County and to insure that plans and decisions related to the CO2 storage, visitors and training facilities are as transparent as possible. The Board is made up of Morgan County citizens who hold a diversity of views on the project and have a variety of personal backgrounds. All members serve on a non-paid, volunteer basis in providing important input to the project.
For more information please contact email@example.com.
Diversified Crop Insurance Service
U of I Extension – Morgan & Scott Co.
Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce
Cass-Morgan County Farm Bureau
Grojean Realty & Insurance Agency
Morgan County Board / Meredosia Resident
Landowner/Passavant Area Hospital Foundation
Lincoln Land Community College
Carpenters Local 904
Morgan County Board