Ameren Energy Resources (AER) has signed a cooperative agreement with the US Department of Energy (DOE) that can lead to repowering an oil-fired unit at AER's Meredosia power plant near Jacksonville, Illinois.

The Meredosia power project is a full-scale, oxy-combustion coal-fired plant designed for permanent carbon dioxide (CO2 ) capture and storage.

The project is part of the initiative known as FutureGen 2.0, which calls for transporting the captured CO2 over a new regional pipeline to a new, deep saline injection storage facility to be developed by others in Illinois.

Ameren and its partners, The Babcock & Wilcox Company and Air Liquide Process & Construction, expect to spend the next nine months completing Phase 1 of the proposed project, which includes the initial engineering, design and economic analysis for repowering this unit.

Upon the completion of Phase 1, DOE will authorize Phase 2 of the project, which will include engineering design, schedule and cost analysis as well as environmental studies to support the National Environmental Policy Act process and effluent permitting.

In parallel with the Phase 2 studies, the partners will approach the Illinois legislature for a change in state law to establish a cost recovery mechanism for the project.

Completion of Phases 1 and 2 studies and enactment of the supporting legislation will be necessary before Phase 3, which will include the procurement and construction activities necessary to repower the Meredosia plant’s 200MW Unit 4.