Southern Co. (NYSE: SO), which has utility subsidiaries that rely heavily on coal-fired power, said Feb. 24 that it has assumed leadership of the Carbon Capture International Test Center Network (ITCN), a global coalition of facilities working to accelerate the research and development (R&D) of carbon capture technologies.
The National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) research facility managed and operated by Southern, will serve as the host site for the ITCN. Formed in 2012, the ITCN facilitates knowledge-sharing among carbon capture test facilities around the world with the goal of advancing the development and commercial deployment of carbon capture technologies.
“Southern Company is at the forefront of worldwide efforts to create the next generation of carbon capture technologies,” said Southern Co. Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Kimberly S. Greene. “Through our partnership with DOE and ITCN members, we are building on our commitment to finding real solutions by developing advanced, coal-based technologies.”
The NCCC will chair and operate the ITCN with DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy for the next two years, a role held by Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) of Norway since 2013. The transfer of the chairmanship was officially observed during a Feb. 24 ceremony in Houston, attended by representatives of DOE, Southern Co. and TCM.
Working with scientists and technology developers from government, industry and universities, the NCCC, located in Alabama, conducts R&D to evaluate and advance emerging carbon capture technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from coal- and natural gas-based power generation.
Southern Co. has managed more than $2 billion in R&D investments since the 1960s. The Southern Company system’s environmental R&D also includes conducting the nation’s largest demonstration of carbon capture on a pulverized-coal power plant at subsidiary Alabama Power‘s Plant Barry, and the development of the Transport Integrated Gasification (TRIG) technology, which is the center of subsidiary Mississippi Power‘s recently-built Kemper County power plant. TRIG and other proprietary technologies were developed at the NCCC.
With more than 4.5 million customers and approximately 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Co. is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries.