Springfield State Senator Doris Turner is celebrating the announcement of a natural-gas fueled power plant coming to Pawnee.
Turner says the Lincoln Land Energy Center being built by EmberClear will secure Central Illinois’ economic development: “The Lincoln Land Energy Center will create good paying jobs right here in our back yard. When we look at the realm of companies we hope move to Central Illinois, those that will positively contribute to our society are at the top of the list – and that’s an attribute of EmberClear’s Lincoln Land Energy Center. Lincoln Land Energy Center is an investment not just in our state but also in our communities and our families. I stand strong in my commitment to fight for ways to modernize Central Illinois’ economy and secure jobs that our communities have long asked for.”
The natural-gas fueled power plant will be situated a half mile south of the Village of Pawnee on 160-acres of land. Throughout construction, the IEPA projects the build will generate $1.5 billion in economic development and 700 jobs – with 35 permanent jobs coming to the site upon completion. The total project cost is estimated at $1 billion, and the plant will be exclusively built and operated by union labor.
Despite the Senator’s support, the more progressive wing of the Democrat party has come out against the project. The Clean Energy Jobs Coalition released a statement about the approval of the project yesterday says the project “undermines Illinois’ climate progress and is out of line with the clean energy goals outlined in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act.” The group says the plant will emit 3.5 million tons of carbon pollution annually while it is in operation. The group went on to say that alternatively over 6,000 megawatts-worth of solar projects are awaiting various points of approval from Ameren and MISO to fill the gap in Central Illinois’ energy grid.
In December, local residents and advocates attended a public hearing in Pawnee and delivered over 2,000 comments to the IEPA in opposition of the plant, according to the State Journal Register.
The plant is expected to begin commercial operations by 2025.