Central Illinois Gas-Fired Power Plant One Step Closer to Reality

EmberClear Pawnee proposed plant site – click for larger version

Last June MDN reported that EmberClear, based in Houston, TX, wants to build a $1 billion, 1,100 megawatt combined-cycle natural gas-fired plant about 15 miles from Springfield, Illinois, in Pawnee (see NatGas and Coal Go to War in Central Illinois). The City of Springfield’s City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) owns and operates a 550-MW coal-fired generating system. According to the state’s coal industry, a new gas-fired plant would rob CWLP’s plant of business, costing jobs and money. However, it appears the city and CWLP doesn’t view the proposed gas-fired plant as a threat. City alderman have just approved a deal for the new Pawnee plant to purchase “at least” 80,000 gallons of water per day from CWLP for a cool $29,000 per month. The water is a critical component in operating the plant. No water, no plant. This is just the latest indicator that Springfield is on board with the plant. Last May the city approved stretching the boundaries of the Springfield-Sangamon Enterprise Zone, to give the Pawnee project millions in tax savings. Here’s the latest news–that the Pawnee project has just taken another big step closer to the start of construction by striking a deal with CWLP…

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