PSC Approves Lower Rate Increase for Mississippi Power

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The Public Service Commission is giving Mississippi Power Co. approval to start collecting a rate to pay for its Kemper County plant, but not as much as the company wanted.

The regulatory body voted 2-1 Tuesday to approve a 12-to-13 percent increase this year, followed by a 3 percent increase in 2014.

It would allow the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. to start paying off debt related to the power plant it's building in Kemper County.

It wasn't immediately clear what the increase would equal for an average residential customer.

Mississippi Power wanted a 21 percent rate increase.

The PSC rejected a request last year to start collecting before the plant begins operation. A resulting lawsuit was settled with commissioners agreeing to reconsider.

Opponents urged the PSC to reject rate increases.