Southern Company’s Kemper Coal Gasification Plant is the Latest Clean Coal Project That Didn’t Make The Long Haul
Or, the way MIT Technology Review reported it: ”Clean Coal’s Flagship Project Has Failed”
Southern Company has shut down its Kemper County Power Generation Facility clean coal gasification showcase project in Mississippi due to incredibly high costs – $7.5 billion so far. Ratepayers are on the hook for $800 million thanks to legislation passed by the Mississippi legislature; the plant also was on the receiving end of a $382 million Federal Energy Dept. “grant”.
Talk about gasification. I love the free market.
It is worth noting that that ratepayers are suing the company for fraud, and the SEC was investigating Southern Company back before the regime change. The delays and excuses were too much even for the regulators in the state of Mississippi.
Last year, the New York Times reported that the University of Southern Mississippi was forced to raise annual tuition $236 per student, partly to offset an extra $1 million in electrical power costs attributed to the plant.
The plant was backed by good ole Haley Barbour, Southern’s chief lobbyist prior to becoming governor of Mississippi. No one was real surprised when he signed legislation that passed the costs of new power plants on the ratepayers.
Company spokesmodels are calling the suspension a setback, but meantime Mississippi regulators have directed that the Kemper plant be converted to natural gas only (rather than coal fired).
Custer suffered the same kind of “setback” at Little Big Horn.
That will be the end of the Mississippi clean coal scam, but it certainly is not the first of these projects to fail after spending a lot of money. Their primary purpose from the beginning was to create the illusion that clean coal was actually a real thing, even though the claims began long before any ground was broken.
The imaginary FutureGen 2.0 is a failed clean coal plant that cost taxpayers a lot of money.
CatMap has been following the clean coal carbon sequestration/gasification up our butts fairy tell for over a decade. It was in 2006 that the Bush administration granted $1 billion to an imaginary clean coal project called FutureGen, which was a proof of concept coal fired electrical that would show how clean my coal can be, and also provide millions of jobs in southern Illinois. In 2010, it was rebranded as FutureGen 2.0. It was finally shut down in 2015. Your $ billion is long gone, and so is FutureGen.
Two coal-fired electric generation plants are closing in Ohio. Two more are closing in New Jersey. I wonder who is going to buy all that coal Trump is bragging about?