What is the maximum distance between the Meredosia facility and the storage site?
The FGA is not setting a limit on pipeline length. For those sites that can meet all Qualifying Criteria, a host site for the CO2 storage hub will be selected based on what provides the best overall value to the project. For example, a site requiring a longer pipeline, with well-characterized geology and the ability to obtain all necessary property rights, may provide better overall value than a site requiring a shorter pipeline that does not have well-characterized geology.
How can offerors get information regarding the geologic properties described in the Guidance?
The FGA will post to its website state-scale maps that show the following information:
- Mount Simon depth and thickness
- Total dissolved solids (TDS) for the St. Peter and Mount Simon formations (i.e., a map illustrating which areas of the have >10,000 mg/L TDS)
- Eau Claire caprock seal thickness
- Regional faulting map
- U.S. Geologic Survey peak ground acceleration map for Illinois
Prospective site offerors should use this information to determine if the sites they may wish to propose can meet the criteria described in the Guidance for Prospective Offerors, dated October 5, 2010.
What geologic information will site offerors be asked to provide in their responses to the Request for Site Proposals (RFP)?
The RFP will be issued in late October 2010. In presenting the Qualifying, Scoring, and Best Value Criteria in the RFP, the FGA will seek to inform prospective offerors as to how their sites will be evaluated rather than to ask site offerors to provide all the data necessary for that evaluation.
The RFP will focus on information that site offerors can obtain, with an organized effort and using expertise and resources typically available to average communities/companies, within the three-week period allotted for proposal preparation. The information in the proposals will be augmented by the FGA’s engineering and legal team, with support from the Illinois State Geologic Survey (ISGS). In addition, the FGA may pose clarifying questions for site offerors.
For example, proposers will be asked to describe the location, ownership status, and availability of the surface and the subsurface areas being offered. This may require a concerted title/property record search effort by the site offerors, which should start sooner rather than later. The site offerors will be asked to confirm in their proposals that the offered sites have the geologic attributes described in the Qualifying Criteria, based on the information (e.g., maps) provided by the FGA. The site offerors will also be given the opportunity to provide other geologic data at their disposal (e.g., information about known wells and any available knowledge about prior geologic characterization work done at the site or nearby sites).
Some communities will need formal city council or other approvals to offer land that can be difficult to obtain quickly. How can this situation be accommodated?
If an offered site requires some form of approval to fully commit it (e.g., a City Council vote), this would be considered by the FGA as a proposal with conditions. Proposals without conditions are preferred. However, if the condition is clearly explained in the proposal and a clear timeline, which reflects a sense of urgency, is provided for resolving the conditions, the proposal will be considered.
Can more than one site from a county be considered for the carbon storage site?
Yes. Each proposed site will need to have a separate proposal, with all requested information provided separately for each site.
Could the training center could be located across the street from the Ameren Meredosia plant or in close proximity to the power plant instead of being a part of the underground storage site?
The FutureGen 2.0 program consists of repowering Ameren’s Meredosia power plant and the development of a CO2 storage hub and pipeline network. Under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement with DOE, the FGA is responsible for siting and constructing the CO2 storage hub facilities, including co-located carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) visitor, research, and training facilities. These facilities are part of the economic development benefit provided to the community hosting the storage site, and there are technical advantages for the facilities to be co-located with the CO2 storage site. If Meredosia wishes to compete for the storage site and support facilities, the community is certainly welcome to do so as part of the siting process.
Would a site be disqualified if it was 25 miles or less from the Indiana state line due to concerns about subsurface migration of CO2 beyond the Illinois state line?
While this is subject to change in the Request for Site Proposals, the FGA currently believes that the injection site and injection formation must be located within the State of Illinois with no foreseeable risk of subsurface migration of CO2 outside the State of Illinois. Because the CO2 storage hub is a first-of-a-kind demonstration project and because monitoring wells may need to be placed at the maximum extent of the expected plume, an injection well may be no closer than 20 miles (32 kilometers) (measured horizontally, not diagonally) from the Illinois state line as a conservative safe distance.
We would like to include a letter of support in our FutureGen site proposal. To whom should the letter be addressed?
The Request for Site Proposals will include information on submitting letters of support.
How will the Alliance weigh “public support” in the site selection process? What does a community have to do to demonstrate public support?
Local stakeholder support is essential to the success of FutureGen 2.0 in general and the CO2 storage hub in particular. For that reason, one of the site selection criteria is local community support for the CO2 storage site.
Offerors are asked to provide in their proposals evidence of community support for the CO2 storage hub at the proposed surface site. As an example, such evidence may include letters from local community leaders, and neighbors of the proposed site.
In addition, during the Alliance’s due diligence process, which supports site selection, the FutureGen Alliance stakeholder engagement team will interact with local stakeholders to answer questions about the project and to understand their issues. Feedback from this process, including media reports will help the Alliance assess the level of community support. Site offerors that demonstrate willingness to work with the FutureGen Alliance stakeholder engagement team to ensure broad local community involvement will be preferred.
Will the bidders have to put up some kind of matching funds or other financial resources as part of their proposal, and how much weight will that carry in the site selection process?
The RFP asks site offerors to indicate the nature (whether to sell, lease, or donate) and terms (including proposed cost, if any) for the transfer of land title or leasehold rights to the FutureGen Alliance for the proposed surface site. Site offerors are not required to offer financial resources as part of their proposals. However, as indicated in the RFP, sites that are offered at no or nominal cost to the FutureGen Alliance will be preferred over sites that require the Alliance to pay prevailing market prices. In addition, proposals that reduce the financial burden of the Alliance and its FutureGen 2.0 partners will be preferred.
I did not find information on whom to address a letter of support to in the RFP. Does the FGA have a preference on this question?
Letters of support may be addressed to the FutureGen Alliance.
Section 3.3.2(9)(b) of RFP asks for bidders to demonstrate the ability of the FGA to obtain mineral rights or non-development covenants. To which of the proposed development areas does this apply: to the 39 MMT area, 100MMT area, 500 MMT area or all?
RFP Information Request No. 9(b) asks site offerors to demonstrate the ability of the FGA to obtain, purchase, or obtain a non-development covenant for mineral rights within the injection formation, any mineral-bearing formation immediately above the proposed injection formation, and any mineral-bearing formation below the proposed injection formation. At a minimum, the FGA must be able to obtain those rights for the 39-MMT CO2 plume area (see Qualifying Criterion 4.1.2). Sites for which the FGA cannot obtain these rights will be eliminated from further consideration. To the extent a site offeror is able to show that these mineral rights would be available for an area larger than the 39-MMT CO2 plume area, that proposed site will score more highly in comparison to other sites where mineral rights for larger areas are not available. The FGA will amend the RFP to add a scoring criterion related to acquisition of mineral rights, but no additional information or data will be required from site offerors.
Is the revised Future Gen storage option strategy strictly limited to Illinois, or open to neighboring state options like Kentucky?
The primary proposed storage formation must be the Mt. Simon within Illinois. The Mt. Simon was selected under the original FutureGen project through a competitive process and there are substantial technical and schedule benefits that FutureGen 2.0 will realize by continuing the focus on this formation. Also, the power plant and source of the captured CO2 will be located in Meredosia, Illinois and connected to the storage site by a pipeline. The siting and regulatory complexity of interstate CO2 pipelines would compromise the project schedule. Thus, the pipeline and storage site must be contained with the Illinois State boundary (see Qualifying Criterion 4.1.1, in the Request for Site Proposals dated October 25, 2010).
Is Mt. Simon Sandstone the only mineral layer that is being considered for the project or would a Precambrian layer be considered as suitable for a storage site? Our region (Pike County) is thin on Mt. Simon Sandstone, but has a good amount of Precambrian. The attached information discusses Precambrian in West Central Illinois. Page 242 of the report discusses the Mt. Simon Sandstone in West Central IL. Click here to view PDF.
The primary proposed storage formation must be the Mt. Simon Formation within Illinois. The Mt. Simon Formation was selected under the original FutureGen project through a competitive process and there are substantial technical and schedule benefits that FutureGen 2.0 will realize by continuing the focus on this formation. The basal conglomerates and coarse sandstones that are described in the report referenced in the question are still part of the Mt. Simon Formation.Could you please confirm that for the Notice of Intent, the FGA is seeking the geographical coordinates of the geologic storage site and not the geographical coordinates of the 25+ acre surface site?
The FGA is seeking simple geographical coordinates for the minimum 25-acre site that is being offered to host the main injection well and visitors, research, and training facilities. The purpose for the request is so that the FGA can understand more specifically where the site is located in preparation for subsequent due diligence. The FGA recognizes that, during proposal preparation, a site offeror may need to modify the site location slightly (e.g., move to or add a nearby or adjacent parcel). The CO2 storage plume will cover a larger area and underlie the surface site. Offerors must provide at least one set of coordinates and explain what they represent (e.g., the center of the site, the southwest corner of the site, etc.). If an offeror wishes to provide more specificity that is welcome; however, the intention is for this to be a simple information submittal.
The Notice of Intent to submit a proposal due on Wednesday 11/3/10 includes a requirement for the longitude/latitude coordinates of the proposed site(s). Since lat/long coordinately only designate a point, should the coordinates be submitted for a single point near the center of the property(ies) or should coordinates for all four property corners be submitted, assuming it is rectangular or square?
The longitude/latitude coordinates for a single point near the center of the property(ies) will be sufficient. However, the FGA would appreciate receiving the coordinates for all four property corners, assuming it is rectangular or square.The FutureGen 2.0 RFP uses the 2008 USGS Hazard Probability map showing Peak Ground Acceleration for a 2 percent chance of exceedance in 50 years. This map is the 2008 USGS version and is posted on the FGA website. What happens if a site meets the seismic stability criterion using 2008 data but does not meet the criterion using a 2002 version of the USGS Hazard Probability map?
Site offerors responding to the FutureGen 2.0 RFP issued on October 25, 2010 should use the seismic risk map that was provided by the ISGS and that has been posted to the FGA website. A site that has seismic characteristics with a peak ground acceleration less than 30 percent g (the area shown as white on the ISGS map) will meet the seismic stability criterion in the FutureGen 2.0 RFP (Qualifying Criterion 4.2.3).
Is the proposed “Surface Site Area” required to be within the limits of the land area above the anticipated 39 MMT CO2 area? The definition of “surface site” would seem to indicate that it must be within that area because on page 14 of the RFP it is defined as “…land area…that is needed for the injection well(s) and associated injection infrastructure.” Please clarify.
The FGA is seeking a minimum 25-acre site to host the main injection well and visitors, research, and training facilities, although larger sites will be preferred (see Criterion 4.4.1). For the injection of 39 MMT of CO2, the reference plume that results is assumed to be a circular area of approximately 1,000 acres (a radius of 3,600 feet). [Note that this is a reference size plume. The actual plume is influenced by site specific criteria. Therefore, subsequent due diligence may determine the actual plume at a specific site is larger or smaller.] Thus, the total land area above the anticipated CO2 plume may be larger than the surface site offered for the injection well and other related facilities. It is most likely that the surface site will be directly above some portion of the plume as the injection well will be located on the surface site, as will the visitors, research, and training facilities.
The RFP seeks information on the offered site that would host the main injection well and visitors, research, and training facilities (see RFP Information Request Nos. 1-8, 10-21, and 25-27). The FGA is also seeking information regarding the land areas above the anticipated plumes for the injection of 39-, 100-, and 500-MMT of CO2, which will likely be larger than the host site (see RFP Information Request Nos. 22, 23, 28, and 29).
In the information requested for geologic storage under item 9-b-2 on page 16 of the RFP, please clarify what is meant by the phrase “…any mineral-bearing formation immediately above the proposed injection formations(s).” In relation to the Mt. Simon Formation, would that apply exclusively to the Eau Claire formation so long as it is contiguous to the Mt. Simon? By limiting the transfer of mineral rights to “immediately above” the proposed injection formation, would mineral owners be allowed to retain rights to much shallower mineral rights, such as coal, aggregates and water? Conversely, would this require all mineral rights up to the surface to be acquired by the FGA?
With respect to the Mt. Simon Formation, the “mineral-bearing formation immediately above the proposed injection formation(s)” refers to the Eau Claire Formation as long as it is contiguous to the Mt. Simon Formation. Mineral owners would be able to retain rights to mineral resources located between the surface and the top of the Eau Claire Formation, assuming the Mt. Simon is the proposed injection formation. If the offer proposes an additional injection formation above the Eau Claire, then the mineral-bearing formation immediately above the additional injection formation would be subject to the requirement.
We are looking for some information on the economics of the FutureGen 2.0 project. It was stated in the October 6, 2010 press release that there would be 1,000 downstate jobs for the project pipeline and network and 1,000 jobs for IL suppliers. Please define the 1,000 jobs associated with the pipeline and network. Are these construction jobs? Any permanent jobs? We understand that the 1000 jobs for suppliers relates to the construction, maintenance and research needs. Also, could you advise what the on-site jobs would be for the visitor center and training center? Do you have building square footage and costs?
DOE estimates that, during construction, 1,000 direct construction jobs and 1,000 additional supplier jobs will be created. These jobs are associated with the combination of power plant, pipeline, and storage site construction. In addition, there will be permanent jobs at the power plant, pipeline, storage site, and the visitor, research, and training facilities. An estimate that shows expected permanent employment for each of these components will be prepared by mid-2011 as part of the FutureGen 2.0′s design studies. The community that hosts the CO2 storage site can expect to see $25 million to $50 million in capital investment for the visitor, research, and training facilities; $75 million to $100 million in capital investment for the storage infrastructure; and a portion of the $50 million to $300 million pipeline capital investment in their communities. It is this capital investment and subsequent operations that leads to permanent jobs and can serve as a platform from which additional economic development can take place.
Why does the FGA need to obtain mineral rights?
It is important that the FGA be in a position to protect the long-term geologic integrity of the CO2 storage formation. Unless the FGA is able to obtain such mineral rights, the mineral rights owner may have the legal right to drill through the caprock formation and /or through the storage formation(s) in order to develop those mineral resources. For this reason, the FGA must be able to obtain, purchase, or obtain a non-development covenant (an agreement not to develop the mineral resources) for mineral rights directly above, in, and below the proposed injection formation(s) in order to prevent the disruption of the integrity of the injection formation and the primary seal. The FGA will not need to obtain mineral rights in the formations that are closer to the surface (i.e., not immediately above the proposed injection formation).
At a minimum, the FGA must be able to obtain mineral rights for the 39-MMT CO2 plume area (see Qualifying Criterion 4.1.2 in the RFP). Sites at which the FGA cannot obtain these rights will be eliminated from further consideration. To the extent a site offeror is able to show that these mineral rights would be available for an area larger than the 39-MMT CO2 plume area, that proposed site will score more highly in comparison to other sites where the ability to obtain mineral rights for larger areas is speculative. The FGA will amend the RFP to add a scoring criterion related to acquisition of mineral rights, but no additional information or data will be required from site offerors.
How can site offerors demonstrate the ability of the FGA to obtain mineral rights (RFP Information Request No. 9(b))?
The FGA recognizes that site offerors may not be able to obtain options for the purchase of necessary mineral rights by November 15, 2010 when proposals are due. A signed statement from affected mineral rights owners of their willingness to donate, sell, or agree not to exercise their mineral rights located immediately above, in, and below the proposed injection formation(s) will be sufficient. If a sale is contemplated, the general terms of such a sale such as price should be provided.
How can site offerors provide evidence of landowner permission to access their property for MVA activities on land areas above the anticipated CO2 plumes (RFP Information Request No. 22(g))?
Signed statements from landowners indicating their willingness to grant access to their property for MVA activities, and any terms regarding such access, will be sufficient.
Is the FGA looking for a site with only one owner?
No. The FGA recognizes that an offered site may have more than one landowner and that the land areas above the anticipated CO2 plumes will likely have more than one landowner. The RFP asks site offerors to provide a list of the owners of the proposed CO2 storage hub site and evidence of that ownership (RFP Information Request Nos. 6 and 10). Site offerors are also asked to provide the names of the owners of the land areas above the anticipated 39-MMT and 100-MMT CO2 plumes and evidence of their ownership (RFP Information Request Nos. 22(f) and 23(f)).
How is the information requested in RFP Information Request No. 6 different from that requested in RFP Information Request No. 10?
The information requested is the same. In response to RFP Information Request No. 10, site offerors may simply reference their response to RFP Information Request No. 6. The FGA apologizes for the duplicative request.
Could the land area above the anticipated CO2 plume have wind turbines or a wind farm?
Yes. It is expected that the surface area above most plumes will have a variety of ongoing uses. Offerors should assure that the ongoing uses (e.g., wind turbines or agricultural production) will not negatively impact surface site access as outlined in Qualifying Criterion 4.2.10 and Scoring Criterion 4.4.9.
What will be the quality of the CO2 from the repowered Ameren Meredosia plant?
The CO2 will be commercial pipeline quality or above. The precise chemical composition will be the subject of design studies over the coming nine months. The final composition will require approval from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Who will take ownership of the CO2 once it leaves the Ameren Meredosia plant?
The State of Illinois will take ownership of the CO2 at the storage site’s wellhead. The FGA and Ameren are working out the details of ownership in between the power plant and the injection wellhead. It is important to note that the FGA does not intend to ask communities to take ownership of the CO2 or associated liability, if any exists.
Who will own and operate the visitors, research, and training facilities in the short-term (3-year demonstration period) and long-term (following the demonstration period)?
This will be addressed over the next nine months and will involve discussions between the Alliance, the host community, academics, unions, and others. The FGA is interested in a long-term sustainable strategy for the facilities.
What is the procedure for questions to the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) concerning the subsurface at individual sites?
All questions should be sent to the FutureGen Alliance (FGA) email address (SiteInfo@FutureGenAlliance.org). Questions will be addressed by the ISGS and answers will be posted on this web site.
Concerning the land area definitions on page 13 of the RFP, is the 1,000 acres for the 39-MMT CO2 plume derived from the injection permit written for Mattoon? What thickness of the Mt Simon was assumed for calculating the 1,000 acres? What thickness of the Mt Simon was assumed for calculating the 1,000 acres?
The exact acreage of the land area above a CO2 plume will be very specific to the geology at that particular location. The 1,000-acre figure is for a representative site and was approximated based on simulations developed for the Mattoon site, which had an anticipated injection zone thickness of 1,400 feet and an injection formation depth of 6,950 to 8,350 feet. Other geologic properties also affect the actual size of the CO2 plume. Site offerors that can offer legal and physical access to larger land areas above the anticipated CO2 plumes will provide the FGA more flexibility and greater assurance that large volumes of CO2 can be stored.
Is scoring based on the 39-MMT CO2 plume or a larger area?
Each proposed site must be able to inject into the Mount Simon Formation and the formation at that location must be capable of holding the 39 MMT of CO2 from the Ameren Meredosia facility. The FGA will assign higher scores to sites with multiple injection formations and/or storage capacity greater than 39 MMT.
Will DOE’s National Environmental Policy Act study (an environmental impact statement [EIS]) address alternative sites, including alternatives to the Meredosia power plant?
The FGA will identify the CO2 storage hub site and will prepare an Environmental Information Volume (EIV) for that site. The FGA will provide the EIV to DOE for use in its EIS. DOE’s EIS will evaluate the CO2 hub location and the Meredosia Plant as the source for CO2. The EIS will also include a ‘No Build’ option.
What are the plans for transition to commercial operation after the project?
This will be a 3 to 5 year project for DOE. Ameren and the FGA are planning to operate it for at least 20 to 30 years.
After the project demonstration, is there any obligation by Ameren to continue to capture CO2?
As the FGA understands it, Ameren’s legal obligation to DOE to capture CO2 will end at the end of the demonstration. However, as the FGA understands it, Ameren contemplates long-term operation of the plant (i.e., 20+ years) and may choose to continue capturing CO2 for various business reasons. With this in mind, the FGA is working to establish a 20+ year service agreement between Ameren and the FGA for the CO2 and designing the storage site for long-term operations. Questions about Ameren’s specific operational plans are best answered by Ameren. FGA expects more details on operational plans to become available over the next 6-9 months.
Is the State of Illinois a member of the FGA?
If a proposed site is under an airport facility, what impacts would the injection process have on future development of the airport, (i.e. – new aircraft hangars and assembly/fabrication operations) or other job generating projects which could locate on the airport property? What would the FGA’s position be on development at a later date of surface property above the plume?
At least 60 percent of the land area above the anticipated 39-MMT CO2 plume must be physically accessible to the FGA for installation and operation of surface and subsurface monitoring equipment (including shallow and deep wells and seismic testing) (Qualifying Criterion 4.2.10). Site offerors that can offer legal and physical access to a larger percentage of the anticipated 39-MMT CO2 plume or that can offer legal and physical access to larger land areas above the anticipated CO2 plumes will provide the FGA more flexibility and greater assurance that large volumes of CO2 can be stored. Such sites will be favored (Scoring Criteria 4.4.9 and 4.4.10). The land areas above the plumes must be available for MVA activities for at least the three-year duration of the DOE demonstration project and, following that, for whatever period is required by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the underground injection control permit.
The FGA assumes that access to particular land areas would be arranged in consultation with the landowner(s) and/or tenant(s) to ensure that MVA activities did not interfere with ongoing surface activities. As an example, some seismic survey techniques involve large, tractor-sized equipment. Although the FGA will need reasonable access to land areas above the CO2 plumes, scheduling arrangements can generally be made so as not to unnecessarily disturb or inconvenience surface users such as farmers. While the FGA cannot comment on the specific airport facility in question, as long as surface access can be provided in accordance with the RFP requirements, then there is not an inherent conflict between subsurface CO2 storage and surface airport development activities.
What is the current anticipated or approximate diameter for the proposed pipeline that will bring captured CO2 to the hub facility?
The diameter of the buried pipeline will be determined during design studies conducted over the coming nine months. The size will be driven by the need to transport CO2 from the Meredosia plant and any expansion capacity that is built into the system. Very preliminary estimates suggest a range of between about 12″ to 24″ pipeline.
What is the anticipated operating pressure or range of pressures for the proposed pipeline?
Operating pressures will be the subject of design studies conducted over the coming nine months. It would not be unusual for a pipeline system to operate in the pressure range of 1200 to 2200 psig.
At several locations in the RFP, both USGS topo maps and recent (within 2 years) aerial photographs are requested. Earlier this year, USGS has announced that new USGS maps are being produced complete with aerial map backgrounds. However, the base aerial images vary from quad to quad and may be slightly older than the two-year limit. If these aerial images are believed to be generally accurate, can they be used as a basis for both the required USGS maps and “recent” aerial images in order to help reduce the submittal size and number of attachments?
To address the requirement for USGS topographic maps and aerial imagery, it will be acceptable to provide USGS topographic maps that include aerial imagery. If the USGS imagery is more than two years old, please indicate the date of the imagery and describe any significant changes to the mapped areas that may not be represented by the imagery provided. If these aerial images are believed to be generally accurate, they can be used as a basis for both the required USGS maps and “recent” aerial images in order to help reduce the submittal size and number of attachments.
Do the contiguous 25 acres for the proposed site have to be contiguous to the injection well? If so, does each injection well require contiguous 25 acres?
For the purposes of the comparative site evaluations, it is assumed that the initial injection well and associated infrastructure, along with the area needed for the visitors, research, and training facilities would all be co-located within 25 contiguous acres.