Illinois Governor and Midwest Generation Agree on Long-Range Emissions Reduction Plan

December 13, 2006

Midwest Generation announced in Chicago on December 12 that it has reached agreement with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on a comprehensive, long-range plan that will begin reducing mercury emissions from its power plants 18 months ahead of federal regulations, followed by multi-year programs to further cut other emissions at each of the company's six plants in Illinois. The plan includes reducing nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions to help the City of Chicago and the metropolitan area comply with federal regulations for ozone and fine particulates.

As part of the agreement, Edison Mission Group (EMG), Midwest Generation's parent company, and the state have committed to work jointly to develop up to 400 megawatts (MW) of new wind power projects, provided the company can obtain "commercially reasonable" terms for building and selling the output from the projects. EMG is the fifth largest owner of wind energy projects in the United States, and is developing the proposed 200-MW Big Sky wind project near La Salle, Illinois.

The long-range emissions plan has three components:

  • Reducing mercury emissions by installing mercury controls at every Midwest Generation facility by July 2009.
  • Reducing the nitrogen oxide emission rate by 66 percent as of January 1, 2012.
  • Reducing the sulfur dioxide emission rate by 78 percent between 2012 and 2018.

The company and state have also agreed to work together on terms and conditions for Midwest Generation to build new clean coal generation, which would gasify Illinois coal to produce electricity and permanently sequester carbon dioxide emissions.

“Mercury is extremely dangerous, especially for new mothers and young children," Blagojevich said in a December 12 press release about the mercury reduction plan. For information, see the governor's December 12 press release.

Source: December 12 story in Dow Jones Market Watch .