Power generation by natural gas has become cheaper than burning coal, so does the FutureGen project make economical sense? The head of the Illinois Commerce Commission says that’s a question that’s difficult to answer. Doug Scott, chairman of the ICC, says FutureGen makes sense from an environmental standpoint because carbon is captured and stored in the ground.
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From an economic standpoint, Scott says only time will tell. “The question about [FutureGen] being a major player will be in terms of in the long run what the economics of that are and can it compete with other sources of power that are out there,” Scott said. Illinois beat out several states to win the federally funded project to retrofit an existing coal-fueled power plant in Meredosia into a FutureGen plant.