Energy Department Scraps Futuristic Coal Plant in Illinois

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

Don't count your power plants until their built.

That's the lesson for Illinois lawmakers after the Department of Energy told them Tuesday they were pulling the plug on funding for a near zero emissions power plant in Mattoon, Illinois.

You may remember a site at Penwell and Jewett Texas, along with another site in Illinois, lost the bid to house the 1 point 8 billion dollar plant back in December.

Now the Department of Energy cites ballooning costs, and frustration over the project as the main factors in their decision to yank funding.

The official announcement is expected in the next few days.

Here in the Basin, some leaders say the FutureGen Alliance may have to look to the private sector if they want to get a plant off the ground.
"When they said they were going to put it in Illinois, and at that point in time, I was quoted as saying, this may be a blessing in disguise because we felt kind of uncertain and certainly a little apprehensive about the project, and the other thing is there's going to be private opportunities, and we're persuing private opportunities, and we think that's got more potential than the FutureGen Project ever had," Gary Vest, with the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said.

The Dallas Morning News reports the Department could scale back the project, and Texas might still have a chance for a similar power plant.