PSC Seeking to Block Power Rate Increase

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Regulators want the Mississippi Supreme Court to block an increase in Mississippi Power Co. rates.

Mississippi Power has appealed the Public Service Commission's denial of a rate increase that would allow it to begin paying off the interest costs of the $2.82 billion power plant it's building in Kemper County. The company is seeking permission to collect the increase during the appeal, with a promise to repay if it loses.

State lawyers argue in a Tuesday response that, contrary to company claims, the firm hasn't proved it has suffered "irreparable injury" or "undue hardship." Mississippi Power must meet those legal thresholds to collect the money.

If the Supreme Court doesn't rule by Aug. 8, the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. can impose half the $55 million rate increase it seeks.

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