Regulators Extend Discussion of Kemper Plant

By: Rachel Alig Email
By: Rachel Alig Email

Mississippi Power Company filed a motion May 10 in response to the Mississippi Public Service Commission's order regarding the plant. The commission met Friday and immediately went behind closed doors for an executive session that lasted two and a half hours.

After that, it announced two dates for open meetings to discuss the future of the proposed Kemper County lignite coal plant, May 20 and May 26

The announcement left Brian Henson, executive director of the Kemper Economic Development Authority, feeling optimistic.

"We're looking at this as a good thing," said Henson. "The project is still alive. The commission has done a lot of work. We're very thankful for the work they've done."

Representatives from Mississippi Power were also pleased with the outcome of the hearing.

"Mississippi Power is very encouraged. Anything that keeps this project moving forward for our customers and citizens in Kemper County, we are very encouraged by that," said Mississippi Power spokeswoman Cindy Duvall.

There are those who do not support the plant. Opponents of the plant say it is too costly and is not environmentally friendly. Theses arguments aren't stopping Kemper County and Mississippi Power officials from preparing.

"We're going to continue to work with Mississippi Power in every facet that they need us to move, if the project is given a go and a solution can be reached," said Henson.

"We will be gearing up for the hearing to make sure we can respond to any additional request," Duvall said.

Last month, the Public Service Commission approved the plant application by Mississippi Power, but with a lengthy set of conditions that the company says would make it impossible to finance or construct the plant.

The commission voted Friday to also extend the deadline for the company to decide if it would build its plant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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  • by Yo Mamma on May 17, 2010 at 10:16 AM
    Jr - MPC doesn't want us to know the impact of the rates is this project is approved. If south Mississippi got a hold of that info there would be more than just a handful of folks fighting this. Maybe then MPC wouldn't be so concerned with stockholders and focus on how this affects the ratepayers!
  • by jr on May 14, 2010 at 01:09 PM
    I don't think the public is getting the entire story from MPC Regarding MPC’s assertion that restrictions in the order would make building the plant too risky for stockholders, PSC Bentz said, “Didn’t anyone ever think about what might be too risky for the ratepayers?” MPC has filed rate impact information confidentially with the Commission. The ratepayers need to know the impacts.
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