The FutureGen Industrial Alliance has started the search for a carbon dioxide (CO2) storage site in Illinois, USA, just weeks after signing an agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in the Landmark FutureGen 2.0 clean coal project.

The Alliance has announced the details of the site selection process and issued a guidance document for prospective bidders. The site will have to securely store 1.3 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year from the FutureGen 2.0 project for at least 30 years, and also needs to be capable of accepting CO2 from other power and industrial sources in the future.

The FutureGen Alliance signed an agreement with the DOE in late September that makes it responsible for construction and operation of a permanent CO2 storage site and pipeline from the FutureGen plant.

The US government has committed $1 billion in Recovery Act funding for the FutureGen 2.0 project, which will involve repowering an Ameren Energy Resources power plant in Meredosia, Illinois, with an oxy-combustion plant equipped with CCS.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Illinois communities to participate in a project that will put our state and our nation at the forefront of clean coal technology,” said US Senator Dick Durbin. “Under this competitive process, interested communities that meet the selection criteria will have a fair shot at hosting the CO2 storage hub, visitor’s center, research site and training facility.

“These facilities will create economic development, provide good-paying jobs and attract researchers and visitors from around the world.”

The guidance released by the FutureGen Alliance provides an overall description of the site selection process and schedule, selection criteria, and type of site-related data and documentation to be provided by applicants. The Alliance is aiming to issue a Request for Proposals in late October or early November 2010, with applicants expected to submit proposals three weeks later.

Following the site selection – expected to occur in early 2011 – the Alliance will prepare detailed environmental and technical information for the selected site that will be provided to the DOE to support efforts to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement for FutureGen 2.0.