Southern Company will continue to manage and operate the National Carbon Capture Centre, located in Wilsonville, Alabama, for an additional five years under an agreement with the US Department of Energy and its National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Created by the DOE in 2009, the facility is working to expand into new areas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-based power plants and to advance carbon utilisation and direct air capture (DAC) solutions.

Dr. Mark Berry, Southern Company’s Vice-President of R&D, said, “Southern Company has partnered successfully with DOE and NETL to make the National Carbon Capture Centre the nation’s premiere R&D facility for carbon capture technologies.”

“We’re honoured to renew this commitment for another five years, and to formally expand the centre’s work on carbon capture for natural gas power plants – as well as carbon utilisation and negative-emission technologies such as direct air capture.”

“We believe broadening our research scope to include negative carbon solutions will prove critical in providing customers with clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy in a net zero future.”

In the past decade, more than 110,000 hours of technology testing has been completed at the NCCC for NETL. The evaluation of over 60 technologies has already reduced the projected cost of carbon capture from fossil-fuel power generation by more than one-third.

Further cost reductions are expected as the facility’s new infrastructure tests more carbon capture technologies for natural gas power plants.

Brian Anderson, NETL Director, added, “We are excited to continue our partnership with Southern Company and build on our successes by developing new technologies that further reduce the cost of capturing and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

“The NCCC plays an important role in scaling up capture technologies and testing them under real-world conditions. Driving down the cost of and scaling up capture technologies will enable our nation to reduce its carbon footprint and produce reliable and affordable energy, ensuring growth and economic prosperity.”