Ameren files latest FutureGen agreement at FERC

Ameren Services Co. submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on April 23, on behalf of itself, Ameren Illinois Co. and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator a three-party Construction Agreement with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance.

The alliance, with U.S. Department of Energy funding help, is looking to repower part of Ameren’s shut Meredosia power plant in Illinois with oxy-combustion coal technology. Much of the CO2 from the repowered part of the plant would be piped to a nearby area for underground storage injection. The power plant site is currently owned by AmerenEnergy Medina Valley Cogen LLC.

On Feb. 10, MISO filed on behalf of Ameren Services a Procurement Agreement with FutureGen that requires FutureGen to pay Ameren Illinois its actual costs incurred to procure certain material for the relocation work of on-site power plant equipment, and makes FutureGen liable for certain termination costs related to an early termination of such procurement.

Similarly, the Construction Agreement provides for the actual construction of these on-site facilities. Ameren Illinois, MISO, and FutureGen have executed the Construction Agreement.

The alliance is pursuing various other approvals for this project. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for example, went out for public comment on March 31 on draft permit approvals to allow it to inject and store CO2 underground at a facility in Morgan County, Ill.

“These are the first Class VI permits for carbon sequestration in the United States,” EPA said in a public notice. “CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Carbon sequestration is a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“FutureGen would capture CO2 emissions from a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia formerly operated by Ameren Energy Resources,” the agency added. “FutureGen would then purify the CO2 and put it under high pressure to turn it into a liquid so it can be piped to four wells and injected deep into the ground. FutureGen plans four main wells and several additional wells that the company would use to monitor the injection, under EPA oversight.”

The Illinois Commerce Commission on Feb. 20 granted the alliance a certificate to construct and operate the pipeline that would take the CO2 from the plant to the injection well site. The commission order prohibits the start of construction of the CO2 pipeline until the alliance obtains necessary permits from state, federal and local governmental entities.

Also, DOE said Jan. 15 that it has decided to provide financial assistance to the alliance for the project. The record of decision approves the final environmental impact statement for the 168-MWe project. DOE will provide about $1bn of cost-share money through cooperative agreements with the alliance.

The repowered unit would include oxy-combustion and carbon capture technologies provided by the Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group and Air Liquide Process and Construction. Members of the alliance include some of the largest coal producers, coal users, and coal equipment suppliers in the world.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.