Coal giant Peabody awards Kemper plant for environmental performance

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November 2015 AP file photo

Aerial view of the Kemper County plant

Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County power plant was one of 13 coal-fueled power plants recognized by St. Louis-based Peabody Energy on Tuesday for “top environmental performance.”

The 2016 Peabody Energy Clean Coal Awards were presented at Power-Gen International in Orlando on Tuesday. According to a statement from Peabody, the world’s largest private-sector coal company, the Kemper County plant was honored as a Carbon Capture, Use and Storage Pioneer.

“Judges applauded the facility’s innovation in the areas of ash removal and (carbon dioxide) separation, noting ‘the technology holds great promise for future new electric power plants,’” the release states.

The 582-megawatt Kemper County plant is designed to employ Transport Integrated Gasification technology, developed by Mississippi Power’s parent company, Atlanta-based Southern Co., which the company expects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 65 percent.

Peabody said the awards were based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data for the lowest emissions rates and best efficiency, which results in a lower carbon footprint. Mississippi Power has said the company expects Kemper to run fully on lignite by early 2017; the plant has run on natural gas since 2014.

Earlier in the day, Mississippi Power’s chief executive officers Anthony Wilson addressed Power-Gen International’s audience about the progress at the Kemper County Energy facility.

According to a tweet from Mississippi Power , Wilson said the second half of 2016 “has been a very good year … (the) Facility is really in its final stages.”