Companies building a new 582-megawatt power plant near DeKalb are not holding it up as a model for plants around the nation. The Kemper County IGCC plant, now about nine months away from completion, will burn low-grade lignite coal and capture carbon emissions. Kemper is the first plant to use TRIG technology, which Atlanta-based Southern Co. developed in the 1990s.
Southern has said it hopes to sell the technology around the world as a solution to global change, but recently told http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/09/20/usa-energy-emissions-kemper-idINL2N0HG1GB20130920">Reuters that Kemper could not be replicated nationally.
"Because the unique characteristics that make the project the right choice for Mississippi cannot be consistently replicated on a national level, the Kemper County Energy Facility should not serve as a primary basis for new emissions standards impacting all new coal-fired power plants," Southern said in a statement to the wire service.
Louie Miller, who heads the anti-Kemper Mississippi Sierra Club, took aim at the report. Miller said, through a statement of his own, that the company's "confession" that Kemper is not a panacea for the nation's energy woes "should come as a shock" to its customers.
“Since day one, Mississippi Power, its parent Southern Company, and its high-profile backers like Governor Haley Barbour and United States Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu have promised that the Kemper Plant would be a shining model for new coal-fired power plants across the United States, as well as overseas," Miller said.
The Obama Administration recently announced new carbon-limiting rules on utility companies. Southern characterizes its corporate stance as climate-friendly, but told Reuters the new rules "essentially eliminate coal as a future generation option."