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FutureGen is a project of the US government to build a near zero-emissions coal-fueled power plant that intends to produce hydrogen and electricity while using carbon capture and storage. The plant will be built in Mattoon Township, Coles County, Illinois northwest of Mattoon, Illinois.
FutureGen will be a 275-megawatt power plant and is currently in the development stage with construction to begin in 2009. The plant will be online in 2012. The cost will be shared — $620 million by the Department of Energy and $250 million by a large consortium of coal mining and power industry companies. It will be operated as a research and development facility.
FutureGen will seek to sequester carbon dioxide emissions at an operating rate of one million metric tons per year in order to adequately stress test a representative portion of a geologic formation (with a capability up to two million tons per year). A field test similar to this was done in Norway.
States have bid to host the demonstration project, and foreign participation has been solicited (since by 2020 more than 60% of man made greenhouse gas emissions are expected to come from developing countries) - as of June 2006, South Korea and India had joined the U.S. in a partnership.
In May 2006 seven states submitted proposals to host the FutureGen project. On July 25, 2006 four finalist sites were announced.
The FutureGen Alliance announced that they have selected Mattoon, Illinois as the final site on December 18, 2007. According to the Environmental Information Volume for Mattoon, IL the site is located about 3.5 miles northwest of downtown Mattoon in the eastern part of Mattoon township section 8 on 180 hectares (444 acres) of former farm land. The sequestration area is around 8,000 feet below the ground. In July 2007, Illinois Public Act 095-0018 became law giving the state of Illinois ownership of and liability for the sequestered gases.
Future plants based on FutureGen should qualify for several provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
In December of 2007, officials with the Department of Energy warned that projected cost overruns could delay the project. Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy James Slutz stated that projected cost overruns for the project "require a reassessment of FutureGen's design." And that "This will require restructuring FutureGen to maximize the role of private-sector innovation, facilitate the most productive public-private partnership, and prevent further cost escalation."
The Department of Energy also warned industry officials involved with the project against announcing Mattoon, Illinois as the final site of the project, citing that at the time of the announcement the Final Environmental Impact Assessment had yet to be reviewed, and that the DOE had not yet reviewed all of the public comments on the environmental impact statements. The DOE is required by federal law to review all comments before making a definitive decision on the location for a project, and by announcing the winning location of the project before the assessment was complete it could be seen as a form of bias, and project opponents could use the announcement to claim that a decision had been made prior to the final environmental review.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "FutureGen". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|