FutureGen looks to Ameren Meredosia power plant

A partner in the FutureGen clean-coal project in Illinois is withdrawing from the effort within weeks.

The FutureGen Alliance that has included St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. said Monday that the utility won't continue its cooperative agreement for the project past the end of this year.

The coalition says it is negotiating a plan to buy for the project a portion of a power plant Ameren intends to soon close near the west-central Illinois village of Meredosia.

The alliance also is asking to be allowed to take over an agreement between Ameren and the Energy Department for development of the $1.65 billion project.

Ameren says it will still maintain the plant so it can be retrofitted as planned for the effort, which also includes storing carbon dioxide.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Monday released the following statement, "It is good news that the Alliance reached an agreement today with Ameren to negotiate the purchase of the Meredosia Energy Center. With a strong FutureGen Alliance in full control of the plant retrofit, the FutureGen 2.0 project can move more directly toward its goal of making Illinois and the United States a world leader in cutting-edge technology that will improve the environment and create good-paying jobs."

"I will continue working with the FutureGen Alliance, the Department of Energy and the State of Illinois to keep the FutureGen 2.0 moving forward," said Sen. Durbin.

Click here for more information about the Meredosia, Illinois Ameren Energy Center from our previous story announcing the planned closure.