Mississippi Power tests syngas to produce electricity at Kemper power plant


Southern Co. unit Mississippi Power announced it had achieved a milestone with the first electricity generated by clean syngas produced from Mississippi lignite at the company's Kemper County energy facility. This achievement was accomplished using a combination of clean syngas and natural gas.

"After decades of research and years of hard work at the site, we are thrilled that the Kemper County energy facility, the world's most advanced coal plant, has generated electricity using syngas," said Southern Co. Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "The technology at the heart of the first-of-its-kind facility provides a way forward for energy companies in the U.S. and around the world to cleanly generate electricity using an affordable and abundant resource."

The generation of electricity with syngas requires the integrated operation of the power plant's gas cleanup system and associated gasifier, which has been operating since the middle of September.

The clean syngas is then sent to one of the plant's combustion turbine electric generators, which have been operating on natural gas since 2014. As part of the plant start-up process, electricity generation will continue to involve testing on syngas, natural gas or a combination of both as progress continues toward commercial operation.

"Today's accomplishment is a testament to the hard work of the Kemper team, and I am so proud of the results they continue to deliver," said Mississippi Power Chairman, President and CEO Anthony L. Wilson. "The generation of electricity using syngas is just the latest example of our company's commitment to deliver on our promise that Kemper will provide Mississippi Power customers with safe, reliable energy for decades to come. Achieving this latest milestone means that we are implementing innovative 21st-century technology right here in Mississippi."

The next milestones are expected to include the production of electricity by the project's second gasifier, operating both combustion turbines using all syngas, followed by complete integration of the project's systems leading to full commercial operation. Mississippi Power currently expects the remainder of the project to be placed in service by Nov. 30, 2016.

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