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FutureGen Alliance Announces Final Candidate Host Sites

The FutureGen Alliance today announced its short list of candidate sites for a $1 billion first-of-its-kind, near-zero emissions coal-fueled power plant following an extensive technical review. Of the 12 competing sites in seven states, the Alliance concluded that four sites are best suited to host the FutureGen facility. These sites are:
  • Mattoon, IL
  • Tuscola, IL
  • Heart of Brazos near Jewett, TX
  • Odessa, TX
"FutureGen will help meet the world's growing demand for clean electricity, fuel our global economy and sustain livelihoods," said Dr. Charles Goodman, Chairman of the FutureGen Alliance. "We have maintained an aggressive schedule since this international partnership formed in late 2005, and today's announcement marks another important milestone in developing this critical technology solution."

With input from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), independent technical experts, Battelle, and other stakeholders, the Site Selection Team developed nearly 100 peer-reviewed, publicly-vetted criteria against which each potential site was evaluated. The criteria were designed to reflect the scientific and technical goals of the project, as well as being consistent with the schedule and budget agreed to with the DOE --the Alliance's partner in the project.

Three types of criteria were used in the evaluation:
  • Qualifying criteria, which are minimum requirements each site had to meet to be considered further; for example, a minimum of 200 acres of land was required along with adequate cooling water.
  • Scoring criteria, which gauge desirable attributes of each site; for example, sites in close proximity to transmission lines and suitable geology for CO2 sequestration scored better than sites that were not.
  • Best value criteria, which capture additional factors that affect the sites suitability for the specific mission of the project; for example: the ability to access hydrogen and power markets.
Since May, a team of renowned U.S. and international scientists and engineers have carefully reviewed the 12 proposals submitted for consideration. The site selection process was developed to ensure a fair, balanced, and unbiased evaluation based on key surface and subsurface characteristics.

"FutureGen represents a technology-based solution to world energy needs in a way that will ensure that coal will continue to be used to provide affordable electricity while producing fewer emissions than ever before achieved," said Mike Mudd, Chief Executive Officer of the FutureGen Alliance. "FutureGen's suite of innovative technologies will ultimately be available throughout the world, spurring economic development while protecting the environment. These technologies will convert affordable, abundant coal to clean energy, which strengthens energy security and reduces dependence on higher-priced forms of energy. Wherever the plant is ultimately located, it is designed to use a diversity of coals benefiting all users and producers of coal both in the U.S. and throughout the world."

These candidate sites will move forward to the next step of the selection process, which includes a comprehensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluation by DOE and more detailed site characterization. In parallel, power plant engineering will proceed. In the latter half of 2007, following the completion of DOE's NEPA review, the Alliance will select a final site and move toward construction. The plant is expected to be on-line in 2012, an aggressive schedule for a first-of-a-kind plant of such global significance.

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