DOE: Construction Underway at 'First-of-its-Kind' Advanced Clean Coal Electric Generating Facility

On Sept. 10, officials representing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Southern Company, KBR Inc. and the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) broke ground to begin construction of an advanced 285-megawatt integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) facility near Orlando, Fla. The new generating station will be among the cleanest, most efficient coal-fueled power plants in the world, DOE officials said.

Southern Co. will operate the facility through its Southern Power subsidiary, which builds, owns, and manages the company's competitive generation assets. It will be located at OUC's Stanton Energy Center in Orange County, Fla., and will help meet OUC's growing energy needs. Commercial operation is scheduled for June 2010.

"For more than a decade, we have been involved with DOE, KBR and other partners in the development of the Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIGTM) technology," said David Ratcliffe, Southern Co.'s chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We are excited about the opportunity to now apply this new technology to generate power more cleanly and efficiently using our nation's abundant coal reserves."

Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman said: "This groundbreaking represents a significant milestone in the President's Clean Coal Power Initiative, which aims to reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of existing and new coal-based power plants."

OUC Board President Lonnie Bell stated: "At OUC, we are proud of our record for environmental stewardship. Each of our plants incorporated the best available environmental technology at the time of construction. The IGCC project is another important stepforward, taking our commitment further by participating in the demonstration of a new, cleaner technology."

The Stanton unit will turn coal into synthetic gas for generating electricity, while significantly reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. It also will produce 20 percent to 25 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than existing pulverized coal plants and consume approximately half the water required by a pulverized coal plant, DOE officials said.

TRIGTM was developed by Southern Co. at the Power Systems Development Facility in Wilsonville, Ala., through its partnership with DOE and KBR. It is a superior coal-gasification method that is both proven and practical for producing power, chemicals and transportation fuels from coal with less environmental impact.

"KBR is proud to play a role in making the Orlando Gasification Facility a reality," said William P. Utt, chairman, president and CEO of KBR. "KBR and Southern Company have a long history of collaborating on similar projects that strive to develop advanced gasification technology. We look forward to continuing that collaboration on this important project."

For more information, contact DOE at http://www.energy.gov.

Check out the archives of Environmental Protection magazine Web site for additional articles related to power plants, including: "EPRI honors Southern Company and Georgia Power's Plant Yates for leadership in mercury emissions control technology."

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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