Mississippi Power marks a year of operation for combined cycle part of Kemper project

Mississippi Power announced Oct. 22 that during its first year of operation the Kemper County coal gasification facility’s combined cycle power plant has generated enough power to meet one-third of Mississippi Power customers’ electricity needs.

The power plant began generating electricity for customers in August 2014. Since then, Kemper has generated more than 3.5 billion kilowatt hours.

“Not only is the plant generating power for our customers, but it is doing it in a highly-efficient way,” said Mississippi Power CEO Ed Holland. “This is further proof that building Kemper was, and continues to be, the right decision for our customers.”

Kemper is employing a method of power generation called combined cycle to produce power. The combined cycle power plant combines two gas-powered turbines with a steam turbine to make up to 50% more electricity from the fuel it consumes, greatly improving efficiency.

Kemper’s plant operations are four times better than the national average, the utility said about the controversial project, which has run into massive cost overruns. This is based on Kemper’s Equivalent Forced Outage Rate (EFOR), which is the industry standard used to gauge a power plant’s reliability.

“When the Mississippi Public Service Commission approved this facility back in 2010, they certified a need for additional capacity to serve our customers with reliable power in the coming decades,” Holland said. “Kemper’s combined cycle is a great step in meeting that need.”

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), produces energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.