EPRI honors Southern Company engineers

ATLANTA -- Southern Company today announced that four of its engineers were honored with the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) 2003 Technology Transfer Award. The engineers--Steve Wilson, Larry Monroe, Mark Berry and Nick Irvin--were honored for their initiative and support in evaluating key EPRI mercury control technologies through full-scale and bench-scale demonstrations.

“It is an honor to have our engineers recognized for their work in identifying and applying technologies to reduce mercury emissions,” said Charles Goodman, senior vice president of research and environmental affairs for Southern Company. “We believe that through the efforts of our employees, Southern Company will continue to remain at the forefront of environmental research and development.”

Southern Company is testing an innovative mercury control technology at its E.C. Gaston electric generation plant, which is owned and operated by the company’s Alabama Power subsidiary. Plant Gaston was the site chosen by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the nation’s first full-scale mercury control testing in 2000. The initial work on the technology was completed in 2001, with an average mercury reduction of 80 percent achieved.

In 2002, Plant Gaston was selected by the DOE for a second-phase testing of the technology to assess its long-term performance and reliability. So far, the results of this one-year test, which began in April 2003, also show an average mercury reduction of 80 percent achieved. As part of the process, activated carbon and potentially other materials, known as sorbents, are injected upstream of an existing baghouse system designed to collect flyash. These sorbents adsorb the mercury, which could result in substantial emissions reduction. The process of injecting sorbents, such as activated carbon, for mercury control before a baghouse but after an electrostatic precipitator is an EPRI-patented process called TOXECONTM.

MERCAP™, another EPRI patented technology, takes advantage of mercury’s affinity for gold by placing gold plated surfaces in the flue gas. Once the gold plates are saturated with mercury, they are removed, regenerated and returned to the flue gas stream for subsequent mercury removal. Southern Company tested MERCAP™ on a small slipstream at Plant Gaston and will be participating in a DOE pilot-scale test at Georgia Power’s Plant Yates in 2005.

Berry was also honored by EPRI for his leadership in developing state-of-the-art particulate control technologies, such as wetESPs, the ElectroCore and Advanced Power Supplies.

“Utilities today face many challenging demands. The marketplace expects electricity that is abundant and reliable, low in price, essentially perfect in quality, and produced with little impact on the environment,” said Hank Courtright, EPRI vice president of power generation and distributed resources. “The enhanced capabilities fostered by Steve Wilson, Larry Monroe, Mark Berry and Nick Irvin will help Southern Company provide greater value and improve day-to-day operations through a steady stream of technical innovations.”

With more than 4 million customers and nearly 39,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier super-regional energy company in the Southeast and a leading U.S. producer of electricity. Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states, a growing competitive generation company, an energy services business and a competitive retail natural gas business, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are 15 percent below the national average. Southern Company has been named three consecutive years No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s “America’s Most Admired Companies” list in the Electric and Gas Utility industry. Southern Company has been ranked the nation’s top energy utility in the American Customer Satisfaction Index four years in a row, and in the latest survey tied for the highest score among all service industry companies. Southern Company has more than 500,000 shareholders, making its common stock one of the most widely held in the United States. Visit the Southern Company Web site at www.southerncompany.com.