Mattoon, Illinois has been selected as the FutureGen site. Developers announced Tuesday morning the town about 180 miles south of Chicago will host the $1.5 billion experimental low-pollution power plant.
The announcement was made in Washington, DC.
With the announcement comes a big boost for Mattoon's economy. Hundreds are needed to build the plant. Two-hundred full time employees would work there.
An alliance of coal and power companies working with the U.S. government chose between Jewett, Odessa and another site in Illinois.
FutureGen is touted as being pollution-free. The FutureGen Alliance has also labeled the 275-megawatt project "cutting-edge."
FutureGen will prove the technical and economic feasibility of producing low-cost electricity and hydrogen from coal while nearly eliminating emissions.
In the process, FutureGen will create unique opportunities for scientific exploration, education, and stakeholder engagement
The plant is expected to be up and running by 2012.
A look at the four towns that were hoping to land FutureGen:
TUSCOLA, Ill. --Location: About 160 miles south of Chicago. --Population: 4,400. --About the site: Sits above an underground sandstone formation that would be used for carbon dioxide storage, close to Illinois coal reserves, centrally located in U.S. and close to major highways, railroads, power lines and pipelines. Last of the four finalists selected, nudging out Effingham. Risk of leak puts residents at risk.
MATTOON, Ill. --Location: About 180 miles south of Chicago. --Population: About 18,000. --About the site: Above rock layer, close to coal reserves and major infrastructure. Greatest population around potential site, potentially putting most people at risk if there is a chemical release.
JEWETT, Texas --Location: About 135 miles northwest of Houston. --Population: About 860. --About the site: Existing infrastructure because of neighboring 2,500-megawatt, coal-fired power plant. Wells already drilled through bedrock might allow carbon dioxide to escape.
PENWELL, Texas --Location: About 370 miles west of Dallas and near oil boomtown of Odessa. --Population: Fewer than 100 residents. --About the site: Pipeline carrying carbon dioxide for oil industry already passes through area. Risk of damage to wildlife, wetlands and cultural resources during construction because utilities would have to be run farther than Illinois sites.
KBTX.COM NOTE: We had hoped to bring the announcemnt of the FutureGen Alliance's choice live here at KBTX.com. However, the link provided through FutureGen officials that would have led to a live streaming video did not work. We apologize for those who logged on to watch the announcement.