The Energy Department is walking away from FutureGen, a public-private effort to create a power plant that traps and stores carbon emissions, which began but faltered under President George W. Bush and was revived by the Obama administration.
DOE is yanking funding for the project that was authorized to receive $1.1 billion in funding via the 2009 stimulus law, though the bulk was never spent.
Bush, who proposed FutureGen in 2003, envisioned a pioneering plant that would demonstrate sophisticated technology that uses coal cleanly on a commercial scale. Since then, other projects designed to trap power-plant emissions have begun moving ahead, though large-scale carbon capture remains far from widespread commercial deployment in the electricity sector.
"The U.S. Department of Energy has directed the suspension of FutureGen 2.0 project development activities. The DOE has concluded that there is insufficient time to complete the project before federal funding expires in September 2015," said Ken Humphreys, CEO of the FutureGen Alliance, the private-industry side of the initiative.
"In order to best protect taxpayer interests, the Department of Energy has initiated a structured closeout of federal support for the project that will help maximize the value of investments to date while minimizing ongoing risks and further costs," DOE spokesman Bill Gibbons said.