When in service, the $4 billion power plant will begin generating electricity for more than 2.5 million customers in eight states. About 300 coal miners have been hired to work at the adjacent underground coal mine and another 200 employees will operate the new power plant and corporate offices. St. Louis-based Peabody Energy will operate the new mine that is anticipated to produce almost 7 million tons of coal on site each year.
Project Engineer Greg Goette also said the power plant has provided an infusion of jobs during its construction. “At one point, there were 3,000 contractors out there,” Goette said. “Right now, there are still 500 to 1,000, still quality construction jobs there.”
Studies by the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana have estimated that the power plant will generate $734 million in economic impact annually when it is in full operation. The entire project will contribute more than $22 billion to the local economy over the next 30 years. The $4 billion investment is one of the largest private investments ever made in Illinois.