FutureGen selects Morgan county for its carbon storage project

This entry was posted by Monday, 14 March, 2011
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FutureGen Alliance has selected Morgan County as the preferred site for its carbon storage project. This is part of FutureGen’s $1.2 billion project in developing clean coal technology. The selected site will store carbon dioxide from the retrofitted coal fired power plant-Ameren plant at Meredosia. The captured CO2 will be transported from the power plant to the storage site using pipeline. Atleast 25 surface acres are needed for a carbon injection facility in addition to a 1000 acre buffer zone. The CO2 piped from the Ameren plant will be injected into a sandstone formation at least 3500 feet beneath the earth. Geologists had predicted that this particular storage site has an estimated capacity of 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide/year.

Morgan, Christian, Douglas and Fayette counties were shortlisted for storing carbon dioxide but finally Morgan was selected based on certain factors. Among the factors that resulted in the selection of Morgan county as the storage site are

  • Geological structure which is suitable for long term storage of CO2
  • Close proximity to the power plant that simplifies pipeline routing to reduce the projects overall cost
  • Strong support from local community leaders and elected representatives in support of the project

Along with the carbon dioxide storage site, the Morgan county will also host a research and training facility and a visitor center. These facilities are critical to advance clean coal technology in the state of Illinois and worldwide.

This project will put Illinois in the world map as a center of clean coal technology and the investment to be made in the county will be a major boost to the economy of the region. This project would generate 1000 jobs in construction and services industry each.

The project cost is put at $1.3 billion with $1 billion federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act. Nearly 55% of the project cost would go towards retrofitting the existing Ameren power plant and remaining cost towards the storage facility. The Ameren power plant will be retrofitted with advanced oxy fuel combustion technology. Oxy-combustion burns coal with a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide instead of air to produce a concentrated carbon-dioxide stream for storage. If successfully applied, the technology could help existing coal-fired power plants reduce greenhouse-gas emissions without shifting to natural gas and meet proposed tougher Environmental Protection Agency regulations of traditional pollutants such as mercury.

Having shortlisted the storage site, the next step is the environmental analysis of the site by the environmental protection agency which will take 1.5 years. On getting the approval from the US department of energy (DOE), the construction of pipeline and power plant would start in 2012 to be completed 2015. The storage of CO2 in the proposed site will commence in 2016.

 

Related Terms in the Glossary:

Carbon Sequestration

Clean Coal Technology

Oxy – Fuel Combustion

Greenhouse Gas

 

One Response to “FutureGen selects Morgan county for its carbon storage project”

  1. Williams

    Plans for a zero-emission power plant at Mattoon were dropped in early 2008 because of cost overruns. It was renamed FutureGen 2.0 after the project was switched to storage of carbon from an existing power plant.

    The cost

    Estimated at $1.3 billion, including $1 billion in federal funds; the remainder would be raised by FutureGen Alliance. About $730 million would go toward retrofitting an Ameren power plant at Meredosia and the remainder toward the storage facility.

    The Morgan County site

    About 1,000 acres in northeastern Morgan County near County Highway 123 and Beilschmidt Road, 25 miles west of Springfield.

    Carbon storage

    At least 25 surface acres are needed for a carbon-injection facility, plus a 1,000-acre buffer zone. Carbon dioxide piped from the Ameren plant would be injected into a sandstone formation at least 3,500 feet beneath the earth. The storage site also must include “cap rock” at least 400 feet thick.

    About 30 miles of 10-inch diameter underground pipe would carry carbon to the site.

    The site has an estimated capacity of 1.3 million tons of carbon dioxide a year for 30 years. It would have to be monitored for up to 50 years and could be “closed” only with approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    What’s next?

    * Environmental analysis of the proposed site is expected to take 18 months. If approved by the U.S. Department of Energy, pipeline and power plant construction could begin in the second half of 2012.

    * Power plant conversion, pipeline, and storage facility and research center to be completed in 2015.

    * First carbon storage in 2016.

    http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1777803964/FutureGen-publicity-brings-inquiries-to-Jacksonville


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