Southern Company Carbon Capture Demo Receives Industry Honor
The Southeastern Electric Exchange’s (SEE) 2014 Industry Excellence Chairman's Award has been given to Southern Company for its 25 MW carbon-capture demonstration project. The groundbreaking project holds the distinction of being the largest demonstration of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) on a pulverized-coal power plant.
Alabama Power—a subsidiary of Southern Company—is housing the project at their Plant Barry power station near Mobile, Alabama. Annually, the project captures approximately 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide, which is supplied to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership. It is then transported through a 12-mile pipeline to the Citronelle oil field, where it is injected and permanently stored 9,500 feet underground in a geologic formation. The project began in 2011 and was projected to cost roughly $111 million. A start-to-finish carbon-capture demonstration of this magnitude is an important step towards establishing the sustainability and economic feasibility of the technology.
Upon accepting the award at SEE’s annual meeting, Southern Company’s chief environmental officer, Dr. Larry S. Monroe, commented on the project by saying, “The carbon-capture demonstration at Plant Barry represents an investment in our energy future through the development of technologies that will help provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy to customers using America's energy resources. Southern Company recognizes the importance of energy innovation and leads the United States utility industry in robust, proprietary research and development.”
Southern Company was founded in 1945 and is currently the fourth largest utility company in the United States. It boasts more than 500,000 shareholders and has been traded since 1949. The company owns four retail electric companies: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power and Mississippi Power, which, combined, serve over 120,000 square miles in four states.
The utility received an Industry Excellence award in the field of production for the development of PowerGraphiX, a human/technology interface that improves plant operators’ situational awareness. The system replaces multiple monitors displaying digital data with a tiered system of monitors that displays groupings of related information in analog format, enabling plant operators to better anticipate problems, make correct diagnoses and respond accordingly.
In addition, Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power received two SEE awards this year for the top performance in the categories of total company safety and transmission and distribution safety.
This marks the second year in a row that Mississippi Power ranked first for their safety performance. The award is given to the company with the best, or lowest, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable incident rate in reporting categories. Mississippi Power has received the top safety award for seven of the past nine years.
Founded in 1933, the Southeastern Electric Exchange is a non-profit, non-political trade association of investor-owned electric utility companies. The association holds over 25 working group meetings annually as well as special workshops and conducts over 175 benchmarking surveys per year. The SEE Industry Excellence Awards Program judges projects in twelve categories on their achievements, innovation, improvements, requirements met and technical capacity.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.