Here's a real question: if the FutureGen carbon sequestration project goes to Texas instead of nearby Illinois, what's Wisconsin Governor Doyle's climate management strategy? An all the eggs in one unproven technology basket could well lead to a "we better make it happen" project with high budget over runs and missed deadlines. And who would pay for the heavy-duty pipelines headed south to Illinois, carrying C02 at supercritical pressures? Dream on.
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle on Tuesday signed on as a supporter of the nation's first ultra-clean coal-fired power plant sought for Illinois.
A critical component of the project, known as FutureGen, involves storing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas released by coal-fired power plants into the atmosphere, deep underground. The coal would be converted into a gas and then into hydrogen, for potential use in powering fuel cells. Illinois and Texas are vying to host the $1.5 billion FutureGen project, a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Energy and a consortium of coal producers and electric utilities. The project's goal is to test and show that next-generation coal technology will be ready to help coal-fired power plants curb their contribution to global warming.
A regional solution may be needed to address the need to store carbon dioxide after it's released from power plants, energy and geology experts say, because Wisconsin is among states that don't have any geologic formations that are deemed suitable for underground storage.
But Illinois does. As a result, energy planners in Wisconsin see the need to lay groundwork for carbon dioxide from Wisconsin's coal plants to be shipped one day via pipeline to Illinois, where it could be stored underground.
Still waiting to hear from Great Lakes area governors on climate impacts of relying almost exclusively on gasoline made by Texifying God's Country.