CMS Energy has signed agreements with Peabody Energy to co-develop the Prairie State Energy Campus, a 1,600 MW mine-mouth coal plant and mine in southern Illinois.
CMS and Peabody will co-develop and each own 15 percent of Prairie State indirectly through a jointly-owned company. The remainder is expected to be owned by a number of Midwest municipal utilities and electric cooperatives that have already committed to a 53 percent ownership.
CMS Enterprises will serve as lead developer, construction manager and operator of the plant. Peabody Energy will be lead developer of the Lively Grove Mine that will provide fuel for an estimated 30 years. The plant and mine site are about 40 miles southeast of St. Louis near Lively Grove, Ill.
Artist’s rendering of Prairie State Energy Campus. Courtesy of Peabody Energy
The project has received all major permits needed to begin construction, which include a recent affirmation of Prairie State’s air permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Engineering plans are being finalized and an engineering, procurement and construction contract-estimated at more than $2.5 billion-is currently being negotiated. Construction of the first 800 MW unit is expected to take about four years. A second 800 MW unit will be completed not long after.
Emissions produced by the plant are expected to be one-fifth the average for U.S. coal plants. With the announcement, CMS becomes Prairie State’s seventh equity partner. It joins Indiana Municipal Power Agency, Kentucky Municipal Power Agency, Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency, Soyland Power Cooperative (Illinois) and Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative (Michigan).
– Steve Blankinship