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WASHINGTON , DC - The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $235 million to Southern Company, in partnership with the Orlando Utilities Commission and Kellogg, Brown and Root, to develop one of the cleanest coal-fired power plants in the world.

Representatives of the Energy Department and Southern Company signed a cooperative agreement that launches the design, construction, and demonstration of an integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power generation system at the Orlando Utilities Commission's Stanton Energy Center. The system will produce 285 megawatts of electricity for the Orlando area - which will power approximately 285,000 households - and is scheduled to begin operations in 2010.

"The funding for this new Southern Company facility allows for greater availability of more clean coal technology in the U.S.  By harnessing our coal resources in an environmentally sound manner, we will help power generations to come with this clean, safe energy source," Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Jeffrey Jarrett said.

The project is one of four selected in October 2004 under the President's Clean Coal Power Initiative, a $2 billion, 10-year effort to advance technologies that can help meet the Nation's growing demand for low-cost electricity while protecting the environment.

IGCC technology, which produces a coal-derived synthesis gas for power generation, is considered today's environmentally preferred source of electricity from coal. The system being developed by Southern Company and its partners will add advanced emission controls to make it one of the cleanest, most energy-efficient coal power plants built to date.

In addition, the technology to be used in Orlando is unique in that it will cost-effectively use low-rank, high-moisture, and high-ash content coals at lower costs. These coals, which include lignite and sub-bituminous (e.g., Powder River Basin) coals, make up half of the proven reserves in the United States and the world.

The Office of Fossil Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory will manage the project for the Energy Department. Initial funding of $13.8 million will support project start-up activities through March 2007. The total cost of the 10-year project is $557 million, of which the Energy Department will contribute $235 million.

For more information on the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy programs and initiatives, visit

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940