Regional
11:32 am
Thu January 16, 2014

FutureGen Gets Key Federal Approval

The FutureGen site
Credit WUIS

The U.S. Department of Energy has given the long-running FutureGen clean-coal project one of the final OKs it needs to start building.  

The Energy Department on Thursday issued its 25-page approval of the $1.65 billion plan that would refit a coal-fired power plant in western Illinois' Meredosia. The project would remove carbon dioxide from the coal and store it underground. The greenhouse gas is linked to climate change.  
Ken Humphreys is the CEO of the FutureGen Alliance. He says the project still needs a permit to store the gas and to close financially. But he expects construction to begin this year.  

The alliance is mainly a group of coal companies.  
FutureGen was first proposed in 2003 by the Bush administration. Initially it would have been built in eastern Illinois.