HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Environment & Energy » Environment & Energy (Group) » OFFS! After Burning $7.5...

Fri Jun 26, 2020, 10:14 AM

OFFS! After Burning $7.5 Billion On Failed "Carbon Capture" Plant, Southern Co. Wants More CCS

To meet its emissions targets, Southern Co. said this month it is considering another carbon capture project in Kemper County, Miss. the site of one of the most expensive cancellations of an initiative to create a near carbon-free coal plant.

The Department of Energy-funded project will determine whether it is feasible to store carbon dioxide from three of Southern's power plants in Alabama and Mississippi, including Plant Ratcliffe, a natural gas plant that was originally designed to gasify lignite coal and store the majority of its CO2 emissions. That power plant was known as "Kemper" for much of its construction life until delays and cost increases prompted Mississippi utility regulators to say the facility could run on natural gas only (Energywire, June 22, 2017).

The move by Southern mirrors efforts by other utilities that are taking a renewed look at carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way to meet recently-announced carbon emission targets from 2030 to 2050. But while some utilities have seriously considered the technology more than others, it's unclear whether efforts can be turned into working projects anytime soon and whether company carbon targets may be unreachable as a result. That is so even though electric companies are relying on natural gas more as they transition away from coal and tap backup for renewable power.


After Southern stopped all work on the carbon-capture portion of Kemper, which had ballooned into a $7.5 billion project by June 2017, the company eventually wrote off the proprietary technology planned at the site, known as transport integrated gasification (TRIG) technology. That ended hopes of marketing and selling it to other utilities in the U.S. and elsewhere. "The concepts, the engineering concepts are still very valid, but we just don't recognize that there's any real value for our shareholders at this point," Burleson said in an interview after the company's 2019 annual meeting.

The company also will not build another facility using TRIG. "It's like any failure, you learn from it," Burleson said in 2019. "Now, were the learnings worth the price? I don't know, but it's important to learn from failure. The important thing is to learn from everything we do."



0 replies, 193 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Reply to this thread