DOE to FutureGen companies: we need to talk

Department of Energy officials were conspicuously absent from the FutureGen Alliance announcement this morning naming Mattoon, Ill. as the site of the planned power plant project. Turns out DOE wants to renegotiate terms of the 76 percent /24 percent cost-sharing structure for the project.
A statement from Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy James Slutz (pronounced “Slootz”):

“As the Department of Energy (DOE) has discussed with the FutureGen Alliance for the past several months, projected cost overruns require a reassessment of FutureGen’s design. Today the Alliance announced its preferred site for FutureGen. DOE has not yet issued the Record of Decision (RoD), which is required to enable a final siting determination. DOE believes that the public interest mandates that FutureGen deliver the greatest possible technological benefits in the most cost-efficient manner. This will require restructuring FutureGen to maximize the role of private sector innovation, facilitate the most productive public-private partnership, and prevent further cost escalation. DOE looks forward to continued work with the private sector and its international partners to ensure the success of FutureGen, and to advance the use of carbon capture, storage and sequestration in the coal-fired power plants of the future.
Further details on the structure of FutureGen will be provided next month.”

Maybe the Texas towns of Jewett and Odessa should be happy they weren’t chosen?

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