New technology to capture greenhouse gas breaks ground at Alabama Power's Barry Electric Generating Plant

MOBILE – Alabama Power and Southern Company broke ground today on the construction of a project to demonstrate carbon capture and sequestration at the Barry Electric Generating Plant near Mobile. The project supports the

development of cost-effective technologies for reducing greenhouse gas



In 2011, Alabama Power and Southern Company, along with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI), the Electric Power Research Institute and several other partners, plan to operate a demonstration facility that will capture and store between 100,000 and 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year from the plant’s coal-fired electricity production.


The CO2 will be supplied to the DOE’s Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (SECARB), which will transport it by pipeline from the plant and store it underground at a site within the area of Citronelle Oil Field, about 10 miles from the plant, operated by Denbury Resources. The Southern States Energy Board is leading the SECARB effort.


“Alabama Power is proud to host such a critical demonstration of environmental technology that will enable us to generate electricity using coal while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Charles McCrary, Alabama Power’s president and CEO. “The impact of this technology, both environmentally and economically, is a key step toward meeting the energy needs of our customers in the future.”


With carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), CO2 released during the combustion of coal would be separated from flue gas, compressed and then permanently stored deep underground.


“Southern Company is playing a leadership role in developing energy solutions that make technological, economic and environmental sense,” said

David Ratcliffe, Southern Company chairman, president and CEO. “Through this project and others, Southern Company and its partners seek to better understand the impacts of reducing CO2 emissions from electricity generation. The Plant Barry project is designed to demonstrate start-to-finish CCS technology, an important step toward commercialization.”


The CO2 capture technology to be used in this project, called KM-CDRTM, was jointly developed by MHI and the Kansai Electric Power Company Inc. It deploys an advance amine-based solvent that reacts readily with CO2 in flue gas before being separated and compressed so it is ready for pipeline transport.


The MHI process offers improved performance and lower cost than existing capture technologies. The process has been demonstrated on smaller scale at a coal-fired generating station in Japan, and is being deployed commercially on natural gas-fired systems around the world. The Barry project represents the largest coal-fired demonstration of this technology.


“We are excited to be a partner in this important project that will help further the global goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions for the benefit of everyone,” said Shunichi Miyanaga, executive vice president and representative director of MHI’s Machinery & Steel Structures Headquarters. “The confidence our partners have shown in the MHI CO2 capture technology is a testament to the research and development efforts we have undertaken during the past 20 years. Together with our partners, we are ready to deploy and demonstrate to the world the safety and viability of commercial-scale CCS.”


An important part of any CO2 sequestration project is site selection through geologic characterization and a robust program to monitor the injected CO2.  Therefore, a thorough monitoring process will be deployed to map the movement of the sequestered CO2.


Plant Barry, located in Bucks, has a total capacity of generating 2,525 megawatts of electricity and includes seven generating units – five coal-fired units and two natural gas-fired combined-cycle units.


Southern Company, an industry leader in technology research and development, is working with DOE the federal government and other partners in several major CCS research projects. In one, Southern Company subsidiary Mississippi Power’s Plant Daniel is the host site for a demonstration in which 3,000 tons of CO2 was injected into a deep saline rock formation 8,500 feet below ground. Monitoring of its movement deep in the ground and under multiple geological seals is under way.


News Media Contact: Bernie Fogarty, 205-257-4155