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Perry Announces Two Texas Regions to Compete for FutureGen Project

Location: Austin, TX

Perry Announces Two Texas Regions to Compete for FutureGen Project

Texas to Propose Jewett or Odessa as home to $1 Billion Clean Energy Project

Gov. Rick Perry today announced two Texas regions have been selected to compete to become home to the U.S. Department of Energy's FutureGen project, a $1 billion public-private initiative to build the world's first near-zero emissions coal power plant. The proposed sites are located near Jewett in East Texas and Odessa in West Texas.

"These two Texas sites bring unique strengths to the FutureGen project and represent the extraordinary resources of our state," Perry said. "The proposed Jewett site features abundant natural resources that are essential for creating clean, useable energy, while the proposed Odessa site highlights the state's energy expertise in the commercial use of clean energy products, which is also a critical element of the project's success. Both proposals are reminders that Texas has long been a leader in emerging energy technology - especially technology that better protects our environment."

Perry made his announcement following the recommendation of the FutureGen Texas Advisory Board, a 17-member panel chaired by Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams. The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas is part of the FutureGen Texas Team, which reviewed proposals submitted by regional councils of government and made recommendations to the advisory board. In all, nine proposals were submitted.

The East Texas bid is based at the Jewett mine between Bryan and Waco, which offers an abundant supply of lignite, a form of coal that can be converted into natural gas or liquid petroleum products. The Heart of Texas and Brazos River Valley regional councils of government jointly submitted the Jewett proposal. The Odessa bid showcases Texas' energy expertise, particularly in the long term storage and transportation of carbon dioxide and the use of hydrogen by the petrochemical industry. The Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission submitted the Odessa proposal.

"We will work closely in the coming months with our Congressional delegation in Washington to help make Texas successful in this endeavor," Perry added.

States competing for the FutureGen facility must submit their proposals to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance, a non-profit consortium of coal producers formed to partner with DOE for this initiative, by May 4, 2006. The Alliance is scheduled to announce its final selection in fall 2007 with groundbreaking set for 2008. The facility is projected to be operational as early as 2010.

Operating as both a power plant and research facility, FutureGen will demonstrate the technical and economic viability of clean power generation from coal and lead to the deployment of similar clean energy facilities throughout the world. The facility will gasify coal to generate electricity and produce hydrogen, and capture and store carbon dioxide.

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