Clean coal portfolio standard bill signed in Illinois

Springfield, IL, Jan. 12, 2009 — The Illinois signed into law a new clean coal bill, the Clean Coal Portfolio Standard Act. The new law creates a framework for developing coal gasification projects with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage, requiring emissions from these electric generation facilities to be as clean as natural gas generators.

In order to qualify as a clean coal facility under this legislation, a plant must not only capture at least 50 percent of the total CO2 emissions but must also incorporate power generating equipment that limits regulated pollutants (such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, particulates and mercury) from combustion of the synthetically-produced feedstock to levels that are no higher than combined cycle, natural gas fired plants.

In addition, the law requires electric utilities and other electric retail suppliers in Illinois to purchase up to 5 percent of their electricity from clean coal facilities. SB 1987 entitles one initial clean coal facility with a final air permit to 30-year purchase agreements for the sale of its output.

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