Plans double size of Pawnee EmberClear power plant

Plans double size of Pawnee EmberClear power plant. (WRSP)

Tuesday, Springfield's City Council got an update on the progress of a new EmberClear power plant planned in Pawnee.

The plant will be a microgrid, providing energy to certain parts of central Illinois. The plant is expected to bring up to 35 full-time jobs, on top of several hundred construction jobs to build the plant.

The plant is now projected to take up 160 acres, twice the size of the 80 acres originally planned.

Planners said they now plan to build the plant further south than originally proposed to help reduce noise levels.

"We put a lot of money into engineering to make absolutely sure that it was a sound level that was obtainable financially, that we could afford to be able to do that," said John Kinnamon, executive vice president of Midwest development at EmberClear. "And also a sound level that would be considerably below what the existing limits are."

Although the plant will be located in Pawnee, Springfield's City Council must oversee the plans because the location falls into one of the city's enterprise zones.

Planners are still waiting on approval of an air permit application. They say they hope to begin construction in 2020.

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