Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Announces Kentucky’s FutureGen Site Selected
Mine Mouth Site in Henderson County Contains Tremendous Attributes for the $1 Billion Clean Coal Facility
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher announced today that the Commonwealth of Kentucky had finalized its proposal for the FutureGen project and submitted it to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance. Central to the proposal was the site location: a mine-mouth site in Henderson County.
“Kentucky’s proposal offers a tremendous set of attributes that would provide the Alliance with an excellent location to construct the FutureGen project,” stated Governor Fletcher. “I believe that we have put forth a very competitive proposal that should receive the strongest consideration by the FutureGen Alliance.”
FutureGen is a $1 billion public-private partnership to build the world's first coal-fueled, "zero emissions" power production plant. The FutureGen plant will use cutting-edge technologies to generate electricity while capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide in geological formations. The plant will also produce hydrogen and byproducts for use by other industries. (See www.futuregenalliance.org for additional detail).
The FutureGen project is expected to create over 1,300 jobs at peak construction and 150 permanent jobs at the facility. It will become the leading worldwide research facility for clean coal technology and advanced energy development.
According to Congressman Ed Whitfield (R- Hopkinsville), “The Henderson site will offer a unique combination of abundant coal reserves, research capabilities and experience in clean coal technology. Most importantly, however, the dedication and commitment of the local work force should make the Henderson site more competitive than any of the other sites that might be considered.”
The Kentucky Commerce Cabinet has entered into a partnership with the Cash Creek Generation L.L.C., a Louisville based energy-development company, to utilize a portion of the Cash Creek site as Kentucky’s proposed FutureGen site. The site is located on a reclaimed mine, offering the potential for demonstrating the productive reutilization of former mine properties.
Some of the defining characteristics of the commonwealth’s proposed site include:
- An underlying geology that demonstrates great potential for carbon sequestration.
- A mine mouth site that provides ample coal production less than one mile away.
- A location on the Green River that provides a sufficient water supply for the project.
- A location near the Green River’s confluence with the Ohio River, providing access to a strategic transportation corridor for construction materials and coal transport.
- Several interconnections for the electricity to be transported to the national grid.
“I believe the FutureGen Alliance will want to consider a range of options for siting their facility,” stated Governor Fletcher. “Therefore, I believe they will want to strongly consider a mine-mouth location – and Kentucky has put that forth.
Kentucky’s proposal formalized the financial commitment the state is willing to make, through the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy, to the FutureGen project. It includes:
- $200,000 to fund the Environmental Impact Volume should Kentucky be selected as a candidate site.
- $1 million for additional site characterization should Kentucky be selected as a candidate site.
- $500,000 to purchase the potential site and donate it to the FutureGen Alliance should Kentucky be selected as the preferred site. (Estimated figure)
- $500,000 toward the construction of a barge loading / unloading facility should Kentucky be selected as the preferred site.
- $200,000 for the FutureGen Alliance to comply with the transmission siting requirements of Kentucky.
Henderson County’s leadership is expressing strong support for the commonwealth’s proposal for the FutureGen project. The following statements were included in letters to accompany the proposal to the FutureGen Alliance.
State Senator Dorsey Ridley: “I can think of no better place to promote (investment in clean coal technology) through the construction of the FutureGen facility than Henderson County, Kentucky.”
State Representative Gross Lindsay: “I applaud the FutureGen project for what it can mean to Henderson County, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the United States and offer my support and assistance in any way appropriate.”
Henderson County Judge-Executive Sandy Watkins: “I wish to express my very strong support for the siting of the FutureGen project in my county.”
The Kentucky Office of Energy Policy is managing the state’s FutureGen initiative through an agreement with the Department of Innovation and Commercialization, an agency of the Cabinet for Economic Development.
“The Commonwealth of Kentucky, with our well-established coal resources and extensive experience in advanced coal-extraction and utilization technologies, provides an extremely advantageous site for the proposed FutureGen facility,” said Deborah Clayton, Commissioner for the Department of Commercialization and Innovation. “The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development fully supports Governor Fletcher’s initiative in pursuing this project of national importance.”
Kentucky is competing against a number of states for the FutureGen project. A press release from the FutureGen Industrial Alliance in March reported nine states had indicated an intention to submit up to 22 prospective sites for the project.
Kentucky’s pursuit of the FutureGen project is yet another demonstration of Governor Fletcher’s comprehensive energy strategy unfolding. The energy strategy – Kentucky’s Energy Opportunities for Our Future – contained the following recommendation:
- The Commonwealth of Kentucky should initiate a full-scale effort to attract and site the federal FutureGen facility in Kentucky. (Recommendation 49).
“Governor Fletcher has been moving forward with his comprehensive energy policy since its release last year,” stated Commerce Secretary George Ward. “The Governor’s leadership on energy over the last year is to be commended.”
A complete copy of Kentucky’s FutureGen proposal will be posted at the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy’s web site, www.energy.ky.gov.