United Nations’ climate official visits Kemper facility; Hails technology of new plant

Kemper County, Miss. – The top climate official at the United Nations visited the Kemper County Energy Facility, hailing the plant as a front-runner in new technologies that will help meet the world’s energy needs in the future.

Jukka Uosukainen, Director of the Climate Technology Centre and Network at the United Nations Environment Program, said he was hopeful the world would embrace such technologies. The Kemper plant reduces emissions by 65 percent using carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) and is fueled by lignite, which is prevalent in many parts of the world.

“We can’t avoid people wanting to improve their lives, we can’t curb their consumption, so we must work on new ways of producing energy,” Uosukainen said. “I see that Kemper is a front-runner of that path, of that responsibility of every intelligent company and community.”

“In the future, Kemper-like technology is the future of a zero-carbon-footprint society,” Uosukainen said. “Hopefully the world will embrace these kinds of technologies and standards found at Kemper.”

Uosukainen also hailed vision of Mississippi Power and parent company, Southern Company on the technology.

“Someone has to be a front runner. The future must have scaled-up CCS,” Uosukainen said. “This plant will be rewarded in history for making that huge step.”

Also on the tour was Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, a senior fellow in the Energy & Environment Program with the Atlantic Council, a think-tank dedicated to global issues. Andersen was a founding member of the Montreal Protocol Technology & Economic Assessment Panel, which led to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect the ozone layer. This was his first trip to the Kemper County energy facility.

Andersen said he was “incredibly impressed” with both the facility, and its carbon capture technology to help protect the climate.

“This is the first facility to integrate the best ideas from all of the profession in order to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions from the start,” Andersen said.

The facility is an excellent start to helping combat climate change, Andersen said, but many more Kemper-like facilities are needed.

“What Southern Company and Mississippi Power are doing is showing the way,” he said. “They’re the pathfinders to the other companies and other countries.”

The facility is unlike any other, Andersen said.

“It’s unparalleled in the world today. I hope the people of Mississippi understand how important this is,” he said.

Greg Snowden, Speaker Pro Tem of the Mississippi House of Representatives, also joined the tour of Kemper, touting its technology and economic development power.

“It’s amazing,” Snowden said. “If nothing else it’s just staggering the whole scope and size of the whole thing. The world is coming to see how we’re doing things in East Mississippi.”

Mississippi Power’s vice president of generation development, John Huggins, said he was proud to show off Kemper and its technology.

“It was my great pleasure to host both Director Uosukainen, Dr. Andersen, and Speaker Snowden. They understand how important new technologies are to the environment like we do. Their visit proves yet again how important this technology is not only to Mississippi, but also the world.”

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Recognized throughout the utility industry for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts, Mississippi Power is the 2013 winner of the Edison Electric Institute's Emergency Assistance Award. As a leader in safety, Mississippi Power ranked first in the 2013 Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) Safety Performance Reports. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

For further information: Natalie Campen 228.865.5543 or 228.861.5543 (24/7 media line) nacampen@southernco.com