From AP - News Headlines -

Feds Commit Billion Dollars to FutureGen, Ameren Launches Study to Retrofit Plant

Federal officials have taken one more step toward making the re-worked FutureGen clean-coal project a reality.

The Department of Energy signed an agreement with Ameren Energy Resources to start design work to retrofit a power plant near Meredosia. Under FutureGen 2.0, carbon dioxide produced from that plant would be piped to a site where it would be stored underground. Mattoon bowed out of the project this summer, leaving the site of that storage facility in question.

Also in question is how much the project could cost Ameren and its customers. Utility spokeswoman Susan Gallagher said Ameren will have to ask state lawmakers for some sort of cost-recovery plan. Gallagher said it was too early to elaborate, saying, "We do have a lot of analysis, review, cost estimates, analyzing commercial viability before we go forward."

Gallagher said the first two phases of the project will have to be completed before any construction work begins and an exact dollar estimate would be in place.

On Tuesday the Energy Department formally committed $1 billion to FutureGen.