In a major blow to proponents of "clean coal" technology, Southern Co., parent company of Mississippi Power, announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Wednesday that it's throwing in the towel on efforts to generate electricity from coal and will instead use only natural gas at its flagship Kemper County, Mississippi power plant.
The filing comes on the heels of a historic vote by Mississippi's state regulators that rejected asking the 187,000 customers who may get electricity from Kemper to pay for the long-delayed and far over-budget "clean coal" experiment.
The 582-megawatt plant, initially projected to cost $1.8 billion, has so far run up a bill of more than $7.5 billion in construction and engineering expenses.
The most recent setback, which was made public by Southern on June 5, will require builders to rip through a dense labyrinth of steel pipes to replace crucial equipment that's already started leaking, adding up to two years of additional work at a cost of $164 million.
According to The Hill, the New Burgos Pipeline will carry up to 108,000 barrels per day of refined petroleum products per day and cross the border between McAllen, Texas and Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico.