ORLANDO, FL – Officials representing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Southern Company, KBR Inc. and the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) today 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.
Southern Company 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 (TRIG™) technology," said David Ratcliffe, Southern Company'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."
"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," U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said. "Coal is America's most abundant resource and through a combination of government incentives and private sector support for advanced coal technologies, we are working to further harness America's technological strength in developing clean, secure, affordable and reliable supplies of energy."
"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," said OUC Board President Lonnie Bell. "The IGCC project is another important step forward, taking our commitment further by participating in the demonstration of a new, cleaner technology."
The Stanton unit, which is part of President Bush's Clean Coal Power Initiative, will turn coal into synthetic gas for generating electricity, while significantly reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. It also will produce 20-25 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than our existing pulverized coal plants and consume approximately half the water required by a pulverized coal plant.
TRIG(™) was developed by Southern Company 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. TRIG(™) easily handles the high-moisture, high-ash coals that account for more than half of the world's vast coal reserves. It offers a simpler, more robust method of producing power than most existing coal-gasification technologies.
"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."
"To meet this nation's ever-growing energy needs we must rely on a diverse suite of technologies, including new nuclear, energy efficiency and renewables, advanced clean coal and natural gas," Ratcliffe continued. "New coal technologies such as TRIG(™) are part of that solution."