IEPA Approves Natural-Gas Fueled Power Plant Near Pawnee

By Benjamin Cox on August 1, 2022 at 6:36am

The Illinois EPA has given the green light to a new natural gas-fueled power plant to be built in Pawnee.

EmberClear is developing the Lincoln Land Energy Center with a projected $1 billion investment. According to the company’s website, the natural gas-fueled power plant will produce 1,090 megawatts Siemens Energy, Siemens Financial Services, and BDC-Bechtel Power Holdings LLC are partnering with EmberClear to finance, construct, and build the plant.

The project will be constructed one-half mile south of the Village of Pawnee on a 160-acre tract of land zoned for industrial use and located immediately adjacent to the newly constructed Illinois Rivers transmission substation. Ameren Transmission Co. has invested more than $1.5 billion in the development of a 345 kilo-volt electric transmission line known as the Illinois Rivers project to bolster needed improvements to the power grid and to ensure long-term reliability. The project location is next to the new Austin substation and minimizes aerial transmission and viewshed concerns.

The project will purchase water and backup water supplies from the City of Springfield and the Otter Lake Water Commission via the Village of Pawnee. The discharge from the plant will be sent to a nearby sewage treatment facility owned and operated by the Village of Pawnee.

Natural gas will be accessed through the Panhandle Eastern and Rockies Express transmission pipelines located 4 miles north of the project’s location.

Commercial operations are expected to open in 2024. The project is slated to create 400-700 temporary construction jobs over a 7-year period and 35 permanent jobs.

WMAY reports that local environmental groups are opposed to the permit, saying the project will dramatically increase carbon emissions and harm air quality for area residents.