Mississippi Power announced that its new integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant under construction in Kemper County, Miss., will be named in honor of David M. Ratcliffe, recently retired chairman, president, and CEO of its parent company, Southern Co.
The company broke ground at the 582-MW project on Dec. 17. Scheduled to begin commercial operation in 2014, it is expected to incorporate advanced technology that will allow the facility to release less nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxide, and mercury emissions than traditional power plants. Plant Ratcliffe will also use locally mined lignite as fuel. More than 4 billion tons of lignite are underground in Kemper County, and it has options on 30,000 acres, the utility said.
The utility was last month considering scrapping the project after regulators approved its request to build the lignite plant but ordered a cost recovery cap of $2.4 billion—some $800 million less than what the utility had originally sought. The order also required the Southern Co. subsidiary to pay all construction costs. Regulators ultimately eased restrictions, ruling that construction costs passed on to ratepayers could be no more than $2.88 billion.
Sources: Mississippi Power