Sun Herald Comment On IGCC Kemper County Coal Plant
November 16, 2011 1 Comment
Readers of the Sun Herald should be familiar with the controversy surrounding Mississippi Power’s expensive and highly experimental power plant in Kemper County. Designed for Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power production and carbon capture and storage, the plant was touted as “clean coal” and would be the first in the world of its kind.
However, Mississippi Power ratepayers — whose power bills will increase 30-50 percent to pay for the Kemper plant — should note that construction has been cancelled on a similar IGCC plant in Australia, the ZeroGen plant near Rockhampton, Queensland.
After the Queensland government had invested $108 million, the company building the plant has declared bankruptcy. Queensland Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last month that the IGCC technology was simply “not financially viable.” He expressed worry that the billions of dollar slated for developing IGCC technology would be wasted.
Mississippi needs to learn from the Australians’ mistakes with their “clean coal” boondoggle. We must stop construction on the Kemper plant before ratepayers pour billions of dollars into a highly experimental IGCC process that has now been exposed as “not financially viable.”
“Clean coal” is the pipe dream of coal and utilities fat cats who have had far too much say in how Mississippi is governed. It’s time we woke them up. The Kemper IGCC project needs to end. Now.