Construction Begins on Southern’s Advanced Coal Facility in Florida

Construction Begins on Southern’s Advanced Coal Facility in Florida

Energy provider Southern Co. said Monday construction has begun on what it called an efficient, low-emission coal facility which will help the company meet increased power demand.

The facility, at the Stanton Energy Center in Orange County, Fla., will turn coal into synthetic gas for generating electricity, while reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. The facility will produce 20 to 25 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than Southern’s existing pulverized coal plants and consume about half the water required by a pulverized coal plant.

The advanced coal facility is part of the Energy Department’s $2 billion, 10-year Clean Coal Power Initiative to advance clean energy technologies. The cost of the project is estimated at $557 million, including permitting, design, construction, startup and four years of operation. Southern and Orlando Utilities Commission will contribute about $322 million, while the Energy Department’s share will be $235 million.

Southern has been developing its “transport integrated gasification” process and equipment with the Energy Department, KBR Inc. and other partners for more than a decade. The company expects commercial operation at the Stanton facility by June 2010.

“Coal is America’s most abundant resource and … we are working to further harness America’s technological strength in developing clean, secure, affordable and reliable supplies of energy,” said Samuel Bodman, U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Southern shares rose 11 cents to $35.45 in afternoon trading.


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