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Fayette still in running for CO2 storage site

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

The field of candidates for a FutureGen carbon dioxide storage hub has been narrowed to four, and Fayette County is among that group of candidates.
At last Monday’s meeting of the Vandalia City Council, Director of Economic Development and Tourism JoAnn Givens told aldermen that a St. Louis Business Journal story released earlier in the day listed Fayette County as one of the finalists for a carbon dioxide storage site.
Other still in the running are Christian County, Douglas County and Morgan County. Dropped from the competition were Pike County and Quincy.
The FutureGen Alliance will now continue looking at the potential host sites, conducting geologic and legal studies in each of the four areas.
Givens told aldermen that FutureGen’s work will include gauging community support through such things as surveys and interviews.
The Vandalia/Fayette County partnership is working with Willow Grove Carbon Solutions in the effort to be picked as a carbon dioxide storage site.
The local application proposes that carbon dioxide be stored in the Loudon anticline, an area located primarily in Loudon Township north of St. Elmo that includes about 23,000 acres.
In addition to a storage site, the winner in the competition will host a visitor center, and research and training facilities.
Willow Grove has been working with landowners in that area of Fayette County to obtain easements.
The carbon dioxide storage facility will receive and store emissions from an Ameren Energy Resources power plant in Meredosia.
FutureGen officials say that the total investment in their project will exceed $1 billion and will result in more than 1,000 construction jobs and 1,000 service sector jobs. FutureGen 2.0 has received a commitment for $1 billion in federal funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
They have estimated the capital investment in the carbon dioxide storage site at $100 million
FutureGen officials said recently that they hope to have a site for carbon dioxide storage selected by the middle of February.