The Department of Energy, the state of Illinois, and parties affiliated with FutureGen 2.0 on Thursday outlined plans for the revamped Illinois carbon capture and storage project.

The DOE earlier this month announced it would award $1 billion in Recovery Act funds to the revamped proposal. The so-called FutureGen 2.0 project contemplates repowering of an existing Ameren 200-MW coal unit in Meredosia, Ill., using oxyfuel technology—not construction of an integrated gasification combined-cycle facility at Mattoon, Ill., as originally envisioned.

 The new project still calls for use of the original Mattoon geologic storage site to sequester carbon dioxide—however, the city of Mattoon and Coles County have declined participation in the project.

 Companies including Ameren, Babcock & Wilcox, American Air Liquide, and the FutureGen Alliance on Thursday reportedly discussed the next steps for the project. According to the DOE, it remains “on track for obligation before the end of September.”

 Preparations are then expected to begin for the repowering of Unit 4 at the Ameren facility in Meredosia, with construction set to begin in 2012. “At the same time, following DOE best practices, a site selection process will be conducted to locate a site for the carbon sequestration research, repowering workforce training facility, visitor center, and long term CO2 repository.”

"While we regret Coles County’s decision not to participate in this first of its kind carbon capture and storage project, the Mt. Simon geological formation extends over much of downstate Illinois and offers many other possible locations for storage,” said James Markowsky, assistant secretary for fossil energy at the Department of Energy. “We are encouraged by the response we’ve received from interested communities so far and look forward to working with the project team as they select a new sequestration center over the coming months."

The DOE, meanwhile, asked communities interested in being considered as a storage site to continue contacting the DOE at futuregen2.0@hq.doe.gov. A more formal process will be set up over the coming weeks, the agency said, adding that the eventual site would  need “strong geological characteristics, access to acreage pipeline right of ways and subsurface rights on ten square miles of contiguous acreage for sequestration, clear community support, and should be within approximately a 100 mile radius of Meredosia.”

According to the DOE, Illinois Geological Survey through the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium has performed assessments of the geology in downstate Illinois available for storage and is undertaking more detailed work this fall. The work performed by the MGSC will help with identifying sites for the storage facility and conducting the detailed baseline characterization.

Sources: DOE, POWERnews