States work to attract $1 billion
clean-coal, zero-emission power plant
Harrisburg, PA— Pennsylvania is partnering
with Kentucky and Ohio to bring to the region the world’s
first coal-fueled, near-zero-emissions power plant — a
$1 billion project proposed by the FutureGen Industrial Alliance
and the United States Department of Energy.
Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell, Ohio
Governor Bob Taft and Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher have
entered into a formal agreement to support the region’s
efforts to secure the proposed FutureGen power plant. The 275-megawatt
facility will create more than 100 full-time research and facility
jobs, an additional 1,000 construction jobs and increased university
The three governors also have agreed to create
an Ohio River Valley Coal Research Consortium of the states’
major universities and other research and technology development
organizations. The consortium will advance the research objectives
of FutureGen, provide review mechanisms for spin-off research
projects, help transfer technological developments to industry
and facilitate ongoing research collaborations.
Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania State
University and the University of Pittsburgh have agreed to offer
and facilitate fundamental research support for FutureGen research
Governor Rendell said recent energy and gasoline
price spikes should serve as a warning to all American leaders
that the time has come to promote conservation and clean domestic
The Governor has launched some major initiatives
to build a clean energy future in Pennsylvania. With $219,908
in state aid, the East Coast’s first state-of-the-art
biofuels injection facility opened last fall in Dauphin County.
The plant will replace 3.2 million gallons of foreign oil with
domestically produced biodiesel, and it will keep $6 million
worth of energy dollars in Pennsylvania by reducing the state’s
need to purchase imported fuels.
Governor Rendell last year banned the purchase
of conventional SUVs for the state vehicle fleet and is building
on this initiative with a major effort to replace conventional
vehicles with hybrid vehicles. In the coming fiscal year, the
state will purchase 30 hybrids and set in motion a process to
continually build on this commitment so that by 2011, fully
25 percent of the fleet will be hybrids.
At least nine states have expressed interest
in competing for FutureGen. All states competing for FutureGen
must submit formal proposals to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance
in Washington, D.C., by May 4, 2006. Pennsylvania, Ohio and
Kentucky will support each other through the evaluation processes
to increase the chances of the plant being constructed locally.
FutureGen is a unique opportunity to demonstrate
clean-coal technology and create new markets for the vast coal
reserves in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Ohio, and offers the
potential for environmentally sensitive redevelopment of the
same coalfields that fueled and sustained the industrialization
of the American economy for some two centuries.