Energy Experts Convene for Technical Review of Major Clean Power Project

Georgia Institute of Technology Leads Technical Review of Major Clean Power Project
National Energy Experts Gather to Provide Input on World Class Electricity Generating Facility

The Energy Policy and Innovation Center (EPICenter) at the Georgia Institute of Technology convened more than two dozen energy industry experts – scientific thinkers, corporate engineers, and academic researchers - to review the technical performance of key components of Southern Company’s Kemper County energy facility, a first-of-its-kind clean power project. The plant (pictured below) is the only full-scale demonstration in the world that combines, in one facility, the gasification, carbon capture, and enhanced oil recovery to reduce net carbon dioxide emissions to their lowest level to date from low-rank coal.

The Kemper project achieved several technical benchmarks, becoming the largest integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project in the world. It is also the first to use lignite as fuel, the first to capture and sell CO¬2, and the first to produce multiple byproducts from initial start-up. In terms of coal feed and thermal input capacity, each of the two Kemper gasifiers was the largest in the world by a factor of nearly two in IGCC application.

“The many unique ‘firsts’ associated with Plant Kemper motivated a review to gather key lessons learned,” said Tim Lieuwen, executive director of the Strategic Energy Institute, which houses the EPICenter. “The purpose of this review was to evaluate and develop best practices and lessons learned from the design, construction, start-up, and operations of the facility.”

In addition to Georgia Tech and Southern Company, energy professionals from several universities, government agencies, and corporations also participated including the U.S. Department of Energy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Electric Power Research Institute, North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center, Mississippi State University, Auburn University and the University of Alabama.

“The professionals who participated in this technical discussion are uniquely qualified to evaluate the IGCC project critically and constructively,” said Richard Simmons, director of the EPICenter.  “Each has expertise in some aspect of the research, development, integration or commissioning of IGCC facilities. We view this event as an opportunity to leverage the great technical progress made and look forward, and intend to publish a summary of key findings soon.”

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