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Illinois site selected for new coal-fired power plant

(courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy)

By Associated Press

Mattoon, IL – A standing-room only crowd shouted, clapped and cried this morning as they celebrated Mattoon's selection as the home of a $1.8 billion futuristic power plant.

Mattoon beat out a site in Tuscola and two in Texas for the experimental FutureGen plant during a long-awaited announcement made this morning in Washington.

FutureGen authorities say they selected Mattoon because of the science and technical benefits shown by the central Illinois community. Mattoon is located about 120 miles east of St. Louis.

Construction on several hundred acres of land will begin in 2010 and the plant is expected to begin operation in 2013, bringing hundreds of jobs to boost the local economy.

The plant is supposed to be virtually pollution-free and produce both electricity and hydrogen. Its carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas, will be captured and buried. St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. is a member of the FutureGen alliance that will help to pay for the costs of the plant that are not picked up by the Energy Department.