The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting a formal investigation of Southern (NYSE:SO) and Mississippi Power concerning the estimated costs and expected in-service date of the Kemper County coal gasification power plant.
Southern revealed the probe in its May 5 10-Q quarterly report with the SEC. Southern CEO Tom Fanning told financial analysts April 27 that he expects to start generating power from gasified coal this summer from the 582-MW Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) project in Mississippi.
“Southern Company and Mississippi Power believe the investigation is focused primarily on periods subsequent to 2010 and on accounting matters, disclosure controls and procedures, and internal controls over financial reporting associated with the Kemper IGCC,” according to the 10-Q filing.
“Southern Company and Mississippi Power are cooperating fully with the SEC,” the company said in the filing.
The project will gasify local Mississippi lignite coal to generate electricity and also capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The combined-cycle natural gas portion of the plant is already operational. In 2015 the plant proved its ability to generate electricity with natural gas.