August 12, 2018: after Southern Corporation was forced to shut down the Kemper "clean-coal" project in Mississippi due to huge cost overruns, it looks like Southern Corporation is following the same pattern with regard to the Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear project in Georgia.
July 6, 2017: President Trump' suffers major setback -- Bloomberg. [Fails to mention this was an Obama-era project. Trump inherited it. But yes, Trump wanted it to succeed.]
July 2, 2017: Bloomberg op-ed -- "clean coal" is a fantasy and always will be. Mississippi is throwing in the towel and so should the rest of the world. Well, maybe not India or China.
June 21, 2017: throwing in the towel. It looks like regulators are going to "convert" this to a natural gas plant.
June 4, 2017: still not finished; no new cost update; said to now cost $7.3 billion; will ask customers to help pay for this debacle.
March 19, 2017: new tubing leak; company does not know when plant will come on line -- now up to $7 billion.
January 9, 2017: another delay; to be on-line by January 31, 2017;
December 22, 2016: Phoenix rising. Heidi Heitkamp in the news.
October 22, 2016: now its the annual operations cost that will balloon -- 4x forecast.
October 13, 2016: Kemper makes power from natural gas made from coal for first time. Huge story. And huge cost.
This is a 582-megawatt plant. So, $6.3 billion (and still rising) / 582 MW = $11 million /MW. Remember, even the most expensive solar energy / wind energy project seldom gets above $3 million / MW and even at $3 million / MW, that's outrageous -- in the US.
- construction will require an additional month; will add another $62 million to final cost, October 4, 2016
- New York Times update; calls it "President Obama's centerpiece," July 5, 2016
- Costs increase another $18 million, April 6, 2016
- Further delay; increased cost; add another $159 million, October 29, 2015
- Fuelfix: Southern to do the same thing to South Korea, October 16, 2015
- WSJ, May 23, 2015
- Bloomberg, October 28, 2014: Southern Co. said its first-of-a-kind clean coal power plant in Mississippi will cost almost three times more and take three years longer than originally proposed. [They would have been better off building a nuclear plant.] The estimated cost of the Kemper County project is now $6.1 billion and it’s expected to be in service in the first half of 2016, Atlanta-based Southern said today in a filing.
- Wiki, September 13, 2014
- Washington Post, May 17, 2014
- Obama, April 11, 2014
- WSJ, October 14, 2013
- Bloomberg, September 18, 2013
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Power Co. announced Tuesday it will likely have to repay a $234 million federal tax credit because its Kemper County power plant won't be in operation by April 19 (which year?).
The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. said it probably won't meet that deadline to start producing carbon dioxide at the $6.3 billion plant it's building in eastern Mississippi, although Mississippi Power CEO Ed Holland said the company still believes it will put the plant into commercial operation by June 30 (which year?).
"We still believe, as we had previously disclosed, that the plant will come online in the first half of 2016," Holland said.
It's the second batch of tax credits Mississippi Power could repay because of Kemper delays. The company had to repay $133 million to the federal government because it missed the original May 2014 deadline to put the plant into operation. Southern Co. began construction with little of the plant designed as it raced to claim the tax credits, and those monitoring the construction have said that was a prime cause of overruns and delays that followed.
Mississippi Power also said Tuesday said it will spend $15 million more on redesigns, rework and maintenance, as well as training additional plant operators. Holland said the plant is beginning to test the gasifier by feeding sand through it, and plans to begin testing with lignite coal by December or January.
The plant has been generating electricity by burning natural gas since August 2014. But its key parts, designed to gasify lignite for fuel and later strip out carbon dioxide and other byproducts from the plant's exhaust, had been scheduled to start operation by March 30. That carbon dioxide is supposed to be sold to companies that would pump it into the ground to force out oil. The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions would reduce the plant's contribution to global warming, which is why federal officials are supporting the project.
Critics deride the plant as a "science project," while Holland downplays the risk that it won't work as designed.