Mississippi Power Makes Its Case

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

Mississippi Power will argue its case for a lignite coal plant in east Mississippi before the state public service commission next week. This week, it's trying to make the case to the public.

That plant, if it is approved, will be built in Kemper County, near the Liberty community.

It could provide hundreds of jobs, but it will have to jump some hurdles first.

Mississippi Power has been crisscrossing the state this week, trying to make the case that the plant is needed, and that it will help customers in this state. Mississippi Power CEO Anthony Topazi was in Meridian Tuesday.

For Mississippi Power, the proposed electric generating plant in Kemper County is a large undertaking. Officials say every detail has been thoroughly planned, all the way down to the location.

“And that's where the lignite is," said Topazi. "And the beauty of this plant is, we're going to use Mississippi lignite to fuel the generation of electricity. It's going to be an extremely beneficial proposition with Mississippi lignite being low in cost and very stable to make electricity for my customers.”

Topazi and the commission said the need for the plant came from two main reasons. One being that the demand for power is still growing.

"The other part of our need comes from having an aging fleet of generating units, some of them 65 to 69 years old that simply are at the end of their economic life," Topazi said.

Now in the midst of a recession, the plant would also provide new job opportunities. These jobs would be both permanent and temporary.

"The plant itself will be staffed with about 80 or 85 full-time employees," said Topazi. "The mining operation will be staffed with about 200 employees. So once it's built and operational, direct employment at the plant site will be about 280 to 300. During construction, it will on average have 500 people on the job site, will peak at about 1,000 people."

There are some concerns about the proposed plant when it comes to the environment. Topazi said the plant would be the cleanest coal plant in America. He told us that the plant would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 65 percent.

Do you think Mississippi Power should be allowed to build a lignite coal plant in Kemper County?

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Butler Location: Lauderdale County on Oct 4, 2009 at 05:45 PM
    I am surprised by the one sided jouralism I witnessed tonight on For The Record. It was obvious that the show is for the Kemper County plant and hardly mentioned the opposition's view points. To hear the CEO of MS Power talk, the new plant will be an emerald city. Anyone who doubts the damage this plant will do, should have seen tonight's episode of 60 Minutes about the Kensignton Tennessee coal ash disater and what it has done to that town. Also in the segment was a report about Dominion Power and their toxic golf course built in a upper class neighborhood of coal ash. Anyone who believes the power companies have the residents best interest at heart, must be smoking toxic coal ash. Mississippi Power is a for profit company and that's what they intend to do. They call themselves good corporate citizens because they give money, our money, to charaties and to schools, but if they were really good citizens, they would find a better way to produce power that didn't cost the environment har
  • by Huffy Location: LAUDERHELL on Oct 2, 2009 at 06:55 AM
    if mississippi power is for it then I gotta pull against them here. we all know their marketing slogan is "always on" but I know different and so wish that Emmit Murry's Electric power Association were awarded the rights to supply electricity to my community. always on? not. antiquated? yes. burn garbage not the ground for the $$$ you love-up on. raping the earth and it's lowly residents is the job of invaders not public utilities. these dunces should be in the corner where they belong...along with all the fat kitties that gobble-up all surrounding territories ahead of schedule due to the fact that they have advance notice of such goings on round these parts.
  • by ED Location: MERIDIAN on Sep 30, 2009 at 08:48 PM
    well see now from knowing all about those hired in by the mayor they now are PHD in this.. boy have to say no wonder companies run to other states with what i have seen in time i have been in this area.. i would have second thoughts as well.. what i have seen n the last few weeks can say most have proven that this area's education level is about 5th grade and only know how to look at things guess the rest.. and take other peoples words on things and never check.. it is a shame
  • by jr Location: Laluderdale County on Sep 30, 2009 at 08:11 PM
    Yep, the transmission lines will cross my land for the next 100 years. I will have to pay the property tax on this land and must cut my timber to make way for the wire. And you are right about the power company wants it for free
  • by Anonymous on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:32 AM
    Isn't the life span of the proposed lignite plan only 20 - 30 years? What happens to the plant and transmission lines at that point???
  • by Anonymous on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:31 AM
    I want to know what the transmission lines will do to my property value? Proposed path for the transmission line has it coming right next to my house.
  • by Not for it Location: right here on Sep 30, 2009 at 07:34 AM
    MS Power is also not willing to work with landowners for land being used for transmission lines. They basically want it for free!
  • by voter Location: meridian on Sep 30, 2009 at 04:28 AM
    Anonymous, Where did you get your information? It is not true. When the go on your land they will restore it back better than what it was before. I know because I have a contract with them. This plant will be a boom for kemper county. It will mean jobs and income for a lot of folks. I will, if they go on my land, receive more money at a minimum than it is worth for timber land or farming. People need to study this with an open mind and I believe you will see it is to this areas advantage. Besides the monetary values we need the power source.
  • by Chris on Sep 30, 2009 at 02:39 AM
    Dear anonymus please research the operation of this facility very carefully. The lignite is very shallow under the ground and it will not require strip mining as we have seen in other areas, secondly the owners will not loose their land, only the minerals that lie beneath and the land will be restored to a usable condition pursuant to the extraction of the liginte coal. Mississippi has valuable natural resources that can be utilized and we should support that utilization. I myself would not want to see any permanent scars inflicted on my home state and my research would indicate that the outcome of such a venture by Mississippi Power would be beneficial on many different levels.
  • by farmer Location: Meridian on Sep 29, 2009 at 10:08 PM
    Anonymous has no idea what they are talking about. the landowners don't lose the property at all. it also creates nearly 100 permanent jobs after construction that will pay well. The power goes to Mississippi to relieve dependence on gas powered generators (expensive). I guess you want things to stay the way they are and fuss about your high power bill. Wake up, anonymous!
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