Southern Energy plans environmental, efficiency upgrades for Kendall Square Station power plant

Southern Company subsidiary Southern Energy Inc. today announced plans to make equipment upgrades to significantly improve the environmental performance and efficiency of the Kendall Square Station power plant in Cambridge, Mass.

“Southern Energy is committed to operating its facilities in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Norm Cowden, Southern Energy’s New England project manager. “The equipment upgrades will allow Kendall to run more cleanly and efficiently than ever. We intend to make these upgrades as quickly as possible, building upon improvements already begun by COM/Electric, the facility’s current owner, and working with local officials.”

Southern Energy is in the process of obtaining regulatory approval for acquiring the plant from COM/Electric. Kendall is one of four power plants Southern Energy is purchasing in New England.

“We’ll also be looking at the other three facilities to see what immediate, cost-effective changes we can make to improve environmental performance and efficiency,” Cowden said.

The new equipment at Kendall will use state-of-the-art technologies to significantly reduce the plant’s air emissions. The new equipment will use natural gas as a primary fuel and another low-sulfur fuel (No. 2 distillate, a petroleum product similar to jet fuel) as a backup to improve environmental performance. Currently, the plant is fueled by natural gas and No. 6 fuel oil. Some of the existing equipment will be maintained as a backup.

In addition to higher efficiency and lower emissions, the new equipment at Kendall will increase the plant’s capacity to produce electricity, from 110 megawatts to 270 megawatts. Additional capacity will help ensure reliable service to customers in the Cambridge area, which is experiencing a growing demand for electric power. Electricity produced by the plant will be sold on the local or regional wholesale markets.

As a first step in the process to improve the plant, Southern Energy has submitted an Environmental Notification Form to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO), the largest producer of electricity in the United States, is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company, through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, supplies electricity in 10 countries on four continents. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services and Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.

Southern Energy Inc., a unit of Southern Company, develops, builds, owns and operates power production and delivery facilities and provides a broad range of services to utilities and industrial companies around the world. Its Southern Company Energy Marketing subsidiary, jointly owned with Vastar Resources Inc., provides energy trading, marketing and financial services and other energy-related commodities, products and services to customers in North America.