MISO works out interconnect deal for FutureGen coal project in Illinois

Despite the loss earlier this year of $1 billion in federal funding help, the FutureGen 2.0 project may not be dead yet, since the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) on June 4 filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission an unexecuted Generator Interconnection Agreement for the project.

The agreement is with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. and Ameren Services Co., acting as agent for interconnecting transmission owner Ameren Illinois.

The agreement describes the project, which is under MISO queue #J239, as: “Interconnection Customer’s project J239 is a reconnection of Unit 4, a coal unit, at the existing Meredosia Energy Center to the Transmission Owner’s existing Meredosia East 138 kV switching station located in Morgan County, Illinois, with 100% Network Resource Interconnection Status upon completion of the upgrades identified in this GIA (including Exhibit A10) and a separate Facilities Construction Agreement.”

The agreement added: “Interconnection Customer’s Maximum Permissible Net Output shall be 140 MW Summer rating. All studies were performed at a gross generator output of 200 MW and an auxiliary load served from the Meredosia East switching station of 60 MW, resulting in a net injection into the Transmission System of 140 MW.

“The Generating Facility will interconnect with the Transmission Owner’s Transmission System via two 138 kV radial lines (‘Radial Line’) running from the Generating Facility to the Transmission Owner’s existing 138 kV Meredosia East switching station. One Radial Line will serve as the generator outlet, the other Radial Line will serve an auxiliary load transformer that provides power to the Generating Facility’s oxygen separation and carbon capture equipment.

“The Interconnection Customer’s desired Commercial Operation Date for Unit 4 is December 27, 2019.”

A developer contact listed in the GIA is: FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc., Attn: Mark H. Williford, P. E., 73 Central Park Plaza East, Jacksonville, IL 62650.

The U.S. Department of Energy said in February that it was pulling the plug on $1 billion in federal funding for FutureGen 2.0, igniting a storm of protest from mostly Republican politicians and parties like coal producer Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), a founding member of the FutureGen Industrial Alliance.

FutureGen 2.0 is a near-zero emissions plant that would involve the repowering of Unit 4 at Meredosia. The FutureGen 2.0 project partners would use oxy-combustion technology and capture approximately 1.1 million tons of CO2 each year—more than 90% of the plant’s carbon emissions.

Alliance official Ken Humphreys said in a June 5 e-mail statement to GenerationHub: “On January 28, 2015, DOE suspended federal cost-sharing of FutureGen 2.0 project development activities because there remained insufficient time to complete the project before the designated federal funding expires on September 30, 2015. The FutureGen Alliance continues certain project development activities with non-federal funding, the interconnection request is among them.” Humphreys didn’t elaborate further.

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.