Mississippi Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company, has said that its proposed Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant will receive an additional $279m in investment tax credits from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Mississippi Power qualified for the additional credits when it committed to install equipment that will capture 65% of the carbon dioxide emissions at the plant.

In 2009, the company applied for additional federal support during Round Two of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Investment Tax Credits program, which was approved by Congress upon passage of the National Energy Policy Act of 2005.

In addition to the $279m, Mississippi Power’s Kemper IGCC was awarded $133m in IRS-approved investment tax credits in 2006. The project was also granted $270m in DOE funds through the Clean Coal Power Initiative in 2007. The sum total is $682m in federal support for Kemper County IGCC.

At an estimated cost of $2.4bn, Mississippi Power hopes to build a 582MW electric power plant in Kemper County, Mississippi, using IGCC technology.

The company said that electricity generated from IGCC has fewer emissions than existing pulverized coal power plants. IGCC converts Mississippi lignite to gas. The process sends lignite through a device called a gasifier where, by being subjected to high temperatures and high pressure, the lignite undergoes a chemical reaction that creates a synthesis gas. The cleaned gas is then used to generate power by firing it in a gas turbine.

Rather than burning lignite directly to make electricity, gasification first breaks lignite down into chemical components. Gases that result from this chemical breakdown can be used to fuel power plants using integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology, the company said.