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Gov. Fletcher Announces Kentucky's FutureGen Site

Division of Geographic Information uses GIS technology to select Mine Mouth site in Henderson County for the $1 billion clean coal facility

Map of Kentucky's FutureGen site
Click on the map above to view a slide show of GIS
maps used in making Kentucky's final site selection.

On May 2, Gov. Ernie Fletcher announced that the commonwealth of Kentucky had finalized its proposal for the FutureGen project and submitted it to the FutureGen Industrial Alliance. Central to the proposal was the site location: a Mine Mouth site in Henderson County.

“Kentucky’s proposal offers a tremendous set of attributes that would provide the Alliance with an excellent location to construct the FutureGen project,” stated Gov. Fletcher. “I believe that we have put forth a very competitive proposal that should receive the strongest consideration by the FutureGen Alliance.”

FutureGen is a $1 billion public-private partnership to build the world's first coal-fueled, "zero emissions" power production plant. The FutureGen plant will use cutting-edge technologies to generate electricity while capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide in geological formations. The plant will also produce hydrogen and byproducts for use by other industries. (See for additional detail).

The FutureGen project is expected to create over 1,300 jobs at peak construction and 150 permanent jobs at the facility. It will become the leading worldwide research facility for clean coal technology and advanced energy development.

GIS technology plays critical role in narrowing site selection

The site was one of 34 sites determined to meet the Office of Energy Policy’s (OEP) criteria by Kimberly Anness, of the Commonwealth Office of Technology’s Division of Geographic Information. Anness, a GIS programmer/analyst, was able to use advanced GIS analytical capabilities to find all sites in Kentucky that met FutureGen’s criteria. The analysis looked for sites that were between 400–500 acres in size, located near active railroads, a river, electricity lines, natural gas lines, a supply of drinking water, sewer lines, near well-maintained highways and far from wildlife management areas, wetlands, fish and game sites, housing, schools, hospitals, environmentally sensitive lands, industry, parks, flood zones and geological areas according to OEP specifications.

Anness, who performed the complex queries using ESRI’s ArcGIS software, said the project was made possible by the commonwealth’s extensive collection of GIS data. Kentucky’s award-winning enterprise GIS implementation has become a model for other states and was the primary resource used by Anness in preparing more than 60 maps required for the FutureGen proposal. As one of the primary architects of the commonwealth’s enterprise GIS database, Anness realized that the application of the GIS technology would be instrumental in finding Kentucky’s best potential sites for world's first coal-fueled, "zero emissions" power production plant.

Kentucky is competing against a number of states for the FutureGen project. A press release from the FutureGen Industrial Alliance in March reported nine states had indicated intention to submit up to 22 prospective sites for the project. Kentucky’s pursuit of the FutureGen project is yet another demonstration of Gov. Fletcher’s comprehensive energy strategy.

A complete copy of Kentucky’s FutureGen proposal is posted on the Kentucky OEP's Web site:

To view a slide show of all GIS maps used in determining the site, please visit:

A wealth of GIS-related information, data sets and maps are available and free to the public at



Last Updated 5/10/2006