Work done in pursuit of project paves way for future clean coal projects
CHICAGO, ILL. – Tenaska, managing developer of the proposed Taylorville Energy Center, today congratulated state and local officials on the awarding of the FutureGen federal energy lab to Mattoon, Illinois.
Illinois is home to the second largest coal reserves in the country and yet the state’s coal industry has been in decline for decades, as most recently seen with the closings of the Monterrey and Freeman mines. If the coal industry is to return to its historical position as the economic engine of Central and Southern Illinois, the state needs to encourage development of environmentally responsible coal plants such as FutureGen and the Taylorville Energy Center.
“Governor Blagojevich, Jack Lavin, Bill Hoback and all the great people over at DCEO are to be congratulated for their tremendous achievement in landing the FutureGen project,” said Bart Ford, Tenaska vice president for business development. “In our work with this great team, we have constantly been impressed by their dedication and creativity in trying to bring clean coal projects like the Taylorville Energy Center to Illinois.”
The proposed Taylorville Energy Center has been under development for more than five years and awaits only House passage of HB 3388, the Clean Coal Development Program Law, before it can move forward. In addition to Taylorville, HB3388 will clear the way for other privately developed clean coal Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plants in Illinois.
The $2.5 billion, 630-megawatt Taylorville project received its air permit from the Illinois EPA on June 6th after an intense two year process. The Taylorville project is supported by a diverse coalition of consumer, environmental, political and labor leaders including Senator Deanna Demuzio (D-Carlinville), Senator Frank Watson (R-Decatur), other legislators and leaders from the Citizens Utility Board, Illinois AFL-CIO, American Lung Association of Illinois, Illinois Coal Association and Clean Air Task Force.
In joining many other newspapers that have editorialized in support of this project – including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chicago Sun-Times, and State Journal-Register – the Daily Herald pointed out, “Finally, no less a consumer advocate than the Citizens Utility Board backs the Taylorville plant because it would produce electricity relatively inexpensively, saving Illinois consumers an estimated $190 million a year by displacing more expensive sources.”
Construction of the Taylorville Energy Center will create more than 1,500 construction jobs, plus hundreds of permanent mining and power plant jobs, according to a recent economic impact study from Northern Illinois University. The study also found that central Illinois would experience a regional ripple effect, creating hundreds of new positions in other industries from the Taylorville plant alone.
“The Taylorville project will exclusively use two million tons of Illinois coal annually,” said Bart Ford. “With the awarding of FutureGen to Illinois, the House simply needs to join the Senate in passing HB3388, the Clean Coal Development Program Law, in order for the private sector to create thousands of jobs and revitalize Illinois’ struggling coal industry.”
Details on the project, the technology and the law, along with numerous editorials and newspaper articles can be found atwww.cleancoalillinois.com.