ATLANTA, Nov. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz today joined an international delegation of government and industry leaders to tour the Kemper County energy facility and see firsthand the innovative 21st century coal technology under construction in southeast Mississippi. During the visit, international energy ministry officials representing more than a half dozen countries discussed opportunities to leverage the facility's technology to cleanly and efficiently meet their nations' energy needs.
The event followed the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) Ministerial Meeting in Washington, D.C., where the Kemper project was endorsed by the CSLF and added to its portfolio of pioneering activities.
"Southern Company is, in many ways, leading all towards a 21st century generation portfolio," said Secretary Moniz.
Joining Secretary Moniz at the Kemper facility were Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning, Mississippi Power President and CEO Ed Holland and energy ministry officials from around the world, including Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
"The Kemper County energy facility's technology provides a way to maintain coal's place in a clean, safe, reliable and affordable portfolio of energy resources," said Fanning. "Today's visit demonstrates the international interest in using 21st century coal technology first deployed in Mississippi to help power economies around the globe."
There are currently 6,000 workers onsite and more than 480 Mississippi companies involved in the Kemper project. Most recently the project met major milestones by testing the power generation portion of the plant and connection of its largest electric transmission lines. The facility is scheduled to begin operation in the fourth quarter of 2014.
With 4.4 million customers and nearly 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast through its subsidiaries. A leading U.S. producer of clean, safe, reliable and affordable electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for energy innovation, excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company and its subsidiaries are leading the nation's nuclear renaissance through the construction of the first new nuclear units to be built in a generation of Americans and are demonstrating their commitment to energy innovation through the development of a state-of-the-art coal gasification plant. Southern Company has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer and listed by DiversityInc as a top company for Blacks. The company received the 2012 Edison Award from the Edison Electric Institute for its leadership in new nuclear development, was named Electric Light & Power magazine's Utility of the Year for 2012 and is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the completion of the Kemper County integrated coal gasification combined cycle facility ("Kemper IGCC") and expected benefits of the Kemper IGCC. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; variations in demand for electricity; available sources and costs of fuels; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which include the development and construction of facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including the impact of factors such as labor costs and productivity, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, or contractor or supplier delay or non-performance under construction or other agreements, delays associated with start-up activities, including major equipment failure, system integration, and operations, and/or unforeseen engineering problems; ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses and to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, including the requirements of tax credits and other incentives; advances in technology; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms; actions related to cost recovery for the Kemper IGCC, including actions relating to proposed securitization, Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) approval of Mississippi Power Company's proposed rate recovery plan, as revised, which includes the ability to complete the proposed sale of an interest in the Kemper IGCC to the South Mississippi Electric Power Association, the ability to utilize bonus depreciation, which currently requires that the Kemper IGCC be placed in service in 2014, and satisfaction of requirements to utilize investment tax credits and grants; Mississippi PSC review of the prudence of Kemper IGCC costs; the outcome of any legal or regulatory proceedings regarding the Mississippi PSC's issuance of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Kemper IGCC, the settlement agreement between Mississippi Power Company and the Mississippi PSC, or the State of Mississippi legislation designed to enhance the Mississippi PSC's authority to facilitate development and construction of baseload generation in the State of Mississippi; the ability of counterparties of Southern Company and Mississippi Power Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; the direct or indirect effect on Southern Company's and Mississippi Power Company's businesses resulting from terrorist incidents and the threat of terrorist incidents, including cyber intrusion; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts, including Southern Company's and Mississippi Power Company's credit ratings; the impacts of any potential U.S. credit rating downgrade or other sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general; and catastrophic events such as fires, earthquakes, explosions, floods, hurricanes, droughts, pandemic health events such as influenzas, or other similar occurrences. Southern Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.
SOURCE Southern Company