FutureGen - Project Profile

FutureGen, USA Project Profile FutureGen is a large-scale research project that will result in a 275 megawatt energy plant that showcases the best technology options for using coal to produce electricity and hydrogen with zero emissions, providing a large scale engineering laboratory for testing new clean power, carbon capture and coal-to-hydrogen technologies. Rather than using traditional coal combustion technology, the plant will be based on coal gasification (IGCC) in which the coal’s carbon is converted to synthesis gas made up primarily of hydrogen and carbon monoxide.

Advanced technology will be used to react the synthesis gas with steam to produce additional hydrogen and a concentrated stream of CO2. The captured CO2 will be separated from the hydrogen perhaps by novel membranes currently under development. It would then be permanently sequestered in a geologic formation. Power generation and hydrogen production will be integrated with the capture of carbon dioxide and its sequestration in deep underground geological formations.

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FutureGen aims to capture at least 90 percent of the total CO2 produced at the plant (approximately 1-2 million metric tons of CO2 per year). The government-industry consortium will build and operate the $1 billion 275-MW prototype plant. Industry (the Alliance) has pledged to provide $250 million in support of the project. The Alliance, formed in July 2005, consists of eight members including one foreign company. The Alliance Members collectively produce over 40 percent of the coal mined in the United States, while the utility members own more than 15 percent of U.S. coal-fired generation.

In December 2005, the US Department of Energy signed the first phase cooperative agreement with the FutureGen Industrial Alliance Inc. The initial phase of the cooperative agreement will focus on siting, conceptual design, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, and definition of the remaining scope of the project.

Negotiations on a follow-on cooperative agreement should be completed by late 2006. The plant location and the precise technologies to be tested are yet to be determined. In February 2006 it is the anticipated that a draft Site Request for Proposals (Site RFP) for public review will be released. The final Site RFP is expected to be released in March 2006. The draft and final Site RFP will be posted on the FutureGen Alliance website under the “News & Events” section.

The FutureGen Alliance, an organization of leading international energy companies, was formed to partner with the DOE on the FutureGen project. The active role of industry in this project ensures that the public and private sector share the cost and risk of developing the technologies necessary to commercialize the FutureGen concept. The FutureGen Alliance members are dedicating nearly $400 million toward the project's costs and bring valuable technical expertise and power plant engineering and construction experience to the project.

Alliance members include:
American Electric Power Service Corporation (Columbus, OH)
Anglo American Services (UK) Limited (London, England)
BHP Billiton Energy Coal, Inc. (Melbourne, Australia)
China Huaneng Group (Beijing, China)
Consol Energy, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA)
E.ON U.S. LLC (Louisville, KY)
Foundation Coal Corporation (Linthicum Heights, MD)
Peabody Energy Corporation (St. Louis, MO)
Rio Tinto Energy America Services (Gillette, WY)
Southern Company Services, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)
Xstrata Coal Pty Limited (Sydney, Australia)