Proposed 1.1GW Lincoln Land Energy Center Project in Illinois Approved

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Permits allowing the construction of the proposed 1.1GW Lincoln Land Energy Center in Illinois have been signed. This comes barely a month after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency approved the facility’s building permit.

The permits for the natural gas-fueled combined-cycle facility (NGCC) were signed by the Illinois EPA for EmberClear.  EmberClear is therefore set to carry out the US$ 1bn project. Siemens Energy, Siemens Financial Services, and BDC (Bechtel) Power Holdings, LLC are project partners with EmberClear.

Overview of the project

Sitting on 160 acres site near Pawnee in Sangamon County, the Lincoln Land Energy Center is expected to enter commercial operation in 2025. According to EmberClear, the facility will include Siemens turbine technology. Initially, the technology will allow for the usage of a fuel blend containing 30% hydrogen. This, however, will subsequently rise to 100% hydrogen throughout the lifetime of the facility.

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The plant can convert in the future from a baseload unit utilizing natural gas to a storage facility using hydrogen produced from renewable sources. No assets will be left behind, according to EmberClear. The Panhandle Eastern and Rockies Express pipelines in the area will provide natural gas for the facility.

Additionally, EmberClear said it will purchase water and backup water supplies from the Otter Lake Water Commission and the City of Springfield via the Village of Pawnee.

Expectations for the Lincoln Land Energy Center project

A report by the Springfield Sangamon County Growth Alliance estimates that the factory will generate between 400 and 700 jobs during construction. Upon completion, it will create approximately 35 permanent jobs. Moreover, according to the organization, the factory will have a construction-related economic impact on the region of $1.5 billion.

The output from the Lincoln Land Energy Center will be sent to a nearby Pawnee-owned and -operated sewage treatment facility. The Illinois Rivers Project, a 375-mile, 345-kV transmission line constructed by the Illinois-based Ameren Transmission Co., will transport electricity from the project to the grid.