State-of-the-art power plant to reduce greenhouse emissions by nearly 2 million tons per year

RP news wires
Tags: energy management, green manufacturing

Tenaska, managing partner for the Taylorville Energy Center (TEC), announced March 3 that the Facility Cost Report submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) under the Clean Coal Portfolio Standard Law demonstrates the project can be built with minimal rate impact, nearly 2,500 construction jobs and an almost two million ton per year net reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Once constructed, TEC will be the cleanest coal-fueled commercial scale power plant in the United States, converting Illinois coal into substitute natural gas, and then efficiently burning the gas to produce electricity.

"We're gratified that more than 120,000 engineering hours performed by some of the leading firms in the world confirmed our expectations for the price and performance of the Taylorville Energy Center," said Bart Ford, vice president of Tenaska. "Once the ICC submits its evaluation of this report, we look forward to Illinois General Assembly approval allowing this project to go forward. Depending upon when the ICC issues its report, construction could begin as early as year end."

Under the Illinois Clean Coal Portfolio Standard Law, the project was required to perform a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study to estimate the cost based upon a detailed engineering assessment of the labor and materials needed to build the plant. The FEED study was paid for in part through an $18 million grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

This effort, led by the internationally recognized firms of Kiewit Energy Company ( and Burns and McDonnell (, required more than 120,000 engineering hours. Upon completion of the FEED study, a Facility Cost Report (FCR) including more than 1,500 pages of text and exhibits was prepared identifying the projected price, rate impact and environmental performance of the plant. Numerous additional consulting firms contributed their analysis to the FCR.

FCR findings for construction of the plant include:

  • Nearly 10 million labor hours needed to build TEC resulting in almost 2,500 construction jobs
  • Total projected capital cost including contingency, escalation, financing, insurance and other expenses is $3.5 billion
  • No cost to ratepayers before 2015, when TEC comes online

FCR findings for operation of the plant include:

  • Hundreds of permanent plant and mining jobs will be required
  • More than 1.5 million tons of Illinois coal/year will be used
  • Projected residential rate impact over 30 years averages approximately 1.8 percent over 2009 rates, or an increase of less than $.06/day in 2010 dollars
  • The $2.58 billion U.S. Department of Energy Loan Guarantee, for which the Taylorville Project has been selected for term sheet negotiations, will provide approximately $60 million per year in interest cost savings that will be passed through to electric customers
  • By providing 602 megawatts (MW) in essential "baseload" power, TEC will push down market prices resulting in "market savings" of approximately $1.2 billion in first 10 years

Environmental performance of the project includes:

  • By replacing higher polluting plants with lower polluting/more efficient TEC power, the project will cut net CO2 emissions by approximately 1.9 million tons/year
  • Conventional pollutants, including mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, will be dramatically reduced to a fraction of conventional coal plant levels
  • Carbon emissions will be comparable to clean burning natural gas plants, capturing and storing more than 50 percent of the carbon dioxide from coal
  • Dry cooling design reduces water usage by 70 percent and produces no liquid discharge

Ford concluded, "After investing tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours of effort, we are more convinced than ever that the Taylorville Energy Center will lead to a renaissance for the Illinois coal industry and a resurgence of the economy of Central and Southern Illinois. We look forward to helping Illinois lead the nation in development of clean, affordable and domestically produced power."

About Tenaska
Tenaska has developed approximately 9,000 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity across the United States. Tenaska's affiliates operate and manage eight power plants in six states totaling more than 6,700 MW of generating capacity owned in partnership with other companies. Tenaska Capital Management, an affiliate, provides management services for stand-alone private equity funds, with nearly $5 billion in assets, including nine power plants (with approximately 5,400 MW of capacity), natural gas assets, and transmission infrastructure construction and maintenance operations. 

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