Mississippi Power Will Proceed with Lignite Plant

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Mississippi Power says it will proceed with a plan to build a lignite coal plant in Kemper County.

Local reaction to a revised decision by the Mississippi Public Service Commission is positive.

The PSC had already approved a project to build a lignite coal plant in Kemper County, but had attached some restrictions.

Now Mississippi Power says it will formally accept the terms of the PSC order allowing for the construction of a state-of-the-art power plant in Kemper County.

“After a comprehensive review of yesterday’s order, we have determined the stringent conditions that the commission imposed will still allow us to move forward to finance and construct the plant,” said Tommy Anderson, Mississippi Power vice president of Generation Development. “While this was not what was requested, we view this order as one we can accept and it will allow us to be able to unlock the tremendous value the Kemper County IGCC Project brings to our customers.”

The company said "the proposed 582-megawatt plant is expected to come online by 2014 and will use lignite, a low-cost energy source found in Mississippi. This energy source will be added to Mississippi Power’s existing fuel mix of natural gas and coal and will allow the company and its customers to avoid the volatility and growing costs associated with other fuels."

For Meridian officials, this is great news. Not only would the plant be a huge economic boost to DeKalb and Kemper County, but Lauderdale County would also reap the benefits.

Because Mississippi Power hasn't released a statement, East Mississippi Business Development Corporation president Wade Jones says he's optimistic this means the plant will move forward.

Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry says she's also glad to hear the news because Meridian is actually getting paid for the city's gray water to help run the plant. It will be piped to Kemper County.

"We'll be selling gray water to them from our north and south plant, 7 cents for every thousand gallons, which will be around $100,000 to $150,000 yearly," said Barry.

"Certainly it is going to have a significant impact on Kemper County, but I think we have to understand this 65-mile radius we call the trade area, I think that is where the impact will be felt," said Jones.

Mayor Barry says she has been in communication with Mississippi Power through the process, and says she will do anything she can to help move the project forward.

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  • by Land Lover Location: Kemper County on May 28, 2010 at 05:02 PM
    I live near where the power plant is to be built. The noise and dust resulting from this being located in our county will cause many people to move away. We live in the middle of nowhere to have peace and quiet and enjoy the natural environment. I do not believe they will hire many local people to work. If it is such a good deal, why weren't the residents of Kemper County allowed to vote on it?
  • by Tree Hugger Location: Meridian on May 28, 2010 at 08:20 AM
    SS40, just curious about your own power there in Philly. I assume since your location is Philadelphia that you buy your power from Central EPA. Wonder where they get their power from? Oh yeah, I think its TVA. That means no rate increase for you. The people who really matter here are the elderly people on a fixed budget who can't afford a $300 power bill. Also, lets don't forget about the sick, disabled, etc. There are alot of people in Lauderdale and Clarke counties who are paying for this project and can't afford a huge rate increase. Also, like "whatever" said, the voices that need to be heard from are those who have had to sacrifice for this project. The people who got paid FMV at best for their home. The place where they raised their children, the place they want to retire in, etc. Those are irreplaceable to them. So "tree hugger" or not, I think their opinions should be respected.
  • by Response request Location: Lauderdale County on May 28, 2010 at 07:51 AM
    Hey SS40 from Philly, I'm just wondering if you have any SPECIFIC information on how this is going to help the economy in Philadelphia, or anywhere for that matter? Working in the utility industry and attending the PSC meetings I am aware of many details about this project, but it seems like maybe you know something the rest of us don't know. Please share...... By the way, I am not a "tree hugger", but I do respect the environment that we depend on to sustain our life, and I do take responsibility for my own impact on it. Its too bad we have people in society that have such reckless disregard for the environment that they would risk it for the almighty dollar and alleged "improvement of the economy". As for myself, I would like to leave this place in better shape than when I entered it, and I would like my children to be able to prosper as I have. Anyway, I am still interested in those specific ideas you have on how this project is going to be such a great improvement.
  • by Anonymous on May 28, 2010 at 07:12 AM
    I am a land owner and I am shocked at the response of the county supervisors and city officials concerning the power plant. It's not your land they are taking! NOT TO MENTION THE LOSS IN PROPERTY VALUE!! BUT THAT DOES NOT SEEM TO MATTER. THE POWER PLANT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.
  • by Just Me on May 28, 2010 at 07:07 AM
    Whatever SS40!! Nobody wants to go hug a tree...I mean really...are you that ignorant!! Some of the landowners are being put out! I know a lot of people don't care about the few that are being affected by this in a negative way...but it is still not right for MS Power to force us to do something and not pay the landowner what it is worth. That's just sorry! The people supporting this project would not be supporting it if it directly affected their family in a negative way. I guess the crybabies (MS POWER) finally got their way after they fussed and cried about it...PSC finally gave in..they were probably tired of hearing about it...I KNOW I AM!! I just want MS Power to compensate me for my land they are COMPLETELY taking (the whole thing!!) so I can move on with my life. We have been dealing with this crap for 2 years now. It just really ____ for the landowners having to give up land (by relatives, land inherited from grandparents, etc).
  • by Rog24 Location: Meridian on May 28, 2010 at 03:46 AM
    This shows how much our mayor knows.The north and south plants are freshwater.The wastewater plants are east and west.I aqm really worried where Meridian is going with leadership like this.
  • by R.U.Serious Location: lauderdale Co. on May 28, 2010 at 03:15 AM
    For the benefit of the Shareholders at increased cost to the Ratepayers. If the project is so viable, why can't the company finance the cost?
  • by jr on May 27, 2010 at 07:40 PM
    Just wait till you see what it does to your power bill this summer and next year, and the next... Then tell me it is great news for our economy.
  • by SS40 Location: Philly on May 27, 2010 at 05:35 PM
    This is great news for the economy in our area. If you don't like it, go join the Sierra Club and hug a tree!
  • by whatever on May 27, 2010 at 03:27 PM
    hey barry, all good for the city huh?? what about the county land owners being forced to sell their land and move their families???? thats ok as long as the city makes money!!! you people are FOOLS!!!!! wait and see
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