"Lawsuit: Southern Co. Lied To DOE Over Kemper CCS Plant"

"A former employee of the utility said she was ordered to prepare documents with false information on the now-canceled Kemper carbon capture project."

"Southern Co. allegedly defrauded the Department of Energy and state regulators of hundreds of millions of dollars tied to a first-of-a-kind “clean coal” power plant that was never completed, according to a lawsuit unsealed Monday [Oct. 30] from a former construction manager at the utility.

Kelli Williams, the former worker, said Southern Co. and its subsidiary Mississippi Power Co. repeatedly lied to DOE officials about cost overruns and delays that plagued the $7.5 billion Kemper County Energy Facility, which was slated to capture emissions from gasified coal.

Instead, the companies urged the federal government to continue providing subsidies, which reached about $382 million in funding over the course of the plant’s construction.

If the utility had been honest about the plant’s progress and viability, “DOE would have known the Kemper Project was not viable” and pulled funding, said an amended complaint from Williams filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The plant originally was projected to cost approximately $5 billion less than its ultimate price tag."

Zach Bright reports for E&E News November 1, 2023.

Source: E&E News, 11/08/2023