Mississippi Power announces first tests of clean syngas to produce electricity at...

Mississippi Power announces first tests of clean syngas to produce electricity at Kemper County energy facility

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kemper-aerial-sept-2016
An aerial photo of the Kemper County energy facility taken in Sept. 2016.

ATLANTA – Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power today announced it had achieved another major 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 Company 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 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 major 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.

About Southern Company

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is America’s premier energy company, with 44,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million electric and gas utility customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric utilities in four states, natural gas distribution utilities in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America’s energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, recognized among the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company has earned a National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune’s annual Worlds Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.

About Mississippi Power

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power earned the 2015 ReliabilityOneTM Award for outstanding midsize utility for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts as well as being a leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

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 Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain information contained in this press release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the expected future milestones related to, and projected schedule for completion of, the start-up of the integrated coal gasification combined cycle project in Kemper County, Mississippi (the Kemper IGCC) as well as the expected future performance of the facility. Southern Company and Mississippi Power caution that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company and Mississippi Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company’s and Mississippi Power’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: changes in tax and other laws and regulations to which Mississippi Power is subject as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; the ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including changes in labor costs and productivity, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay, non-performance under operating or other agreements, operational readiness, including specialized operator training and required site safety programs, unforeseen engineering or design problems, start-up activities (including major equipment failure and system integration), and/or operational performance (including additional costs to satisfy any operational parameters ultimately adopted by the Mississippi Public Service Commission (“PSC”)); the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; actions related to cost recovery for the Kemper IGCC, including the ultimate impact of the 2015 decision of the Mississippi Supreme Court, the Mississippi PSC’s December 2015 rate order, and related legal or regulatory proceedings, Mississippi PSC review of the prudence of Kemper IGCC costs and approval of further permanent rate recovery plans, actions relating to proposed securitization, satisfaction of requirements to utilize grants, and the ultimate impact of the termination of the proposed sale of an interest in the Kemper IGCC to South Mississippi Electric Power Association; and the ability of counterparties of Mississippi Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Southern Company and Mississippi Power expressly disclaim any obligation to update any forward-looking information.