SPRINGFIELD – Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced support to bring FutureGen, a $1.4 billion, coal-to-energy, state-of-the-art facility, to Illinois. Governor Rendell submitted a letter to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, which is developing the facility for the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), in support of locating the project in Mattoon or Tuscola, two of only four remaining sites for this public-private project. Governor Blagojevich, the Illinois Congressional delegation, and state and local partners across Illinois have been working for more than four years to bring FutureGen to Illinois. The Alliance is expected to announce its final selection from the four remaining sites by the end of the year.
"On behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I wish to offer our support to the USDOE’s FutureGen project and its siting in Illinois," said Gov. Rendell in the letter. "Illinois offers the right mix of geology, expertise, transportation infrastructure, as well as the state and community support, which is necessary for a project of this magnitude. Illinois’ natural characteristics are more common with other coal producing states like Pennsylvania that will look to replicate the technologies demonstrated by the FutureGen project. It is critical that FutureGen is successful, and we believe that the State of Illinois and their sites offer the FutureGen Industrial Alliance the best chance for success in the future."
"Other states committed to clean coal technology like Pennsylvania understand that bringing FutureGen to Illinois is the right decision for our country. Science is on our side to make this project a tremendous success and replicate this technology in other coal rich states. The geology, infrastructure and commitment to clean coal technology that exists in Illinois makes us the logical location for FutureGen, and along with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we will continue to demonstrate why this project that will change the way we look at energy production belongs here," Gov. Blagojevich said.
In addition to Pennsylvania, Indiana and Kentucky are also supportive of Illinois’ efforts. Since the two states share the same coal basin, Gov. Blagojevich and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2005 stating that Illinois’ strong financial support for coal development, as well as its appealing geologic features, make the state the ideal host for the federally supported project. Kentucky’s Office of Energy Policy also supports Illinois’ bid to attract FutureGen.
FutureGen will be designed to be the cleanest fossil fuel-fired power plant in the world. The facility will convert coal into hydrogen and electricity, while capturing and storing the carbon dioxide deep underground. This effort will lay the groundwork for developing similar power plants around the country and the world, providing a framework for new energy projects that capture, rather than release greenhouse gases. Like Illinois, Pennsylvania is a rich coal mining state and shares many common characteristics in terms of water, land uses and geology, which makes replicating FutureGen much easier.
FutureGen will produce 275 megawatts of electric power, which is enough electricity to power 150,000 homes, as well as hydrogen for fuel cell technology that will serve as the next generation "battery" to operate everything from a computer to a car.
Members of the FutureGen Alliance represent the largest energy companies in the United States, plus major energy companies in China and Europe, as well as India and South Korea.
For more information on FutureGen, please visit www.FutureGenForIllinois.com.