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Fayette loses out on FutureGen 2.0

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Willow Grove to continue developing CO2 storage site in Loudon oil field

By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The company proposing the development of land in Fayette County for carbon dioxide storage is “a little disappointed” that the Loudon oil field area wasn’t chosen for the FutureGen 2.0 project.
But the senior project manager of Willow Grove Carbon Solutions said on Wednesday that the firm will move forward with the development of the Loudon oil field area.
The FutureGen Alliance announced early Monday afternoon that it had chosen Morgan County as the preferred location for the FutureGen 2.0 carbon dioxide storage site, visitor center, and research and training facilities.
The counties of Morgan, Fayette, Christian and Douglas were finalists for the carbon dioxide storage site, visitor center, and research and training facilities, and the FutureGen Alliance said several factors led to choosing Morgan County.
“Among the factors that resulted in the selection of the Morgan County site are its high quality geology, which is well suited for safe and secure long-term storage of CO2, and its close proximity to the Meredosia power plant, which simplifies pipeline routing and substantially reduces the project’s overall cost,” Alliance officials said in a press release.
“Further, there has been a strong show of support from community business and elected leaders, as well as significant support from directly affected landowners. We had an exceptional portfolio of sites from which to choose. Ultimately, the alliance selected the site that best supported the overall mission of the project cost-effectively,” they said.
At this point, a location for the storage of carbon dioxide in Morgan County has not been chosen.
Also, earlier in the process, Morgan County’s participation in the project was uncertain due to opposition from a number of landowners, and during the selection process, alliance officials said during public meetings, including ones in Fayette County, that location was only one of the factors to be considered.
Martin Culik, senior project manager for Willow Grove Carbon Solutions, said, “We are hoping that the FutureGn project is successful, because it will be an important step for the development of carbon dioxide storage.”
He said that Willow Grove, a California-based company with offices in Bloomington, will continue working on procurring leases on property in the Loudon oil area north of Brownstown and St. Elmo.
The area selected for carbon dioxide storage includes about 25,000 acres, and Culik said that Willow Grove has leases on about 12,000 acres to this point.
“We will continue to work on signing up property owners, and also continue in discussions with utilities and other carbon-dioxide emitters,” Culik said.
“We still believe that we have the best site for carbon dioxide storage, and we will move forward in developing the Loudon oil field site,” he said.