There's still no final settlement between the state and Mississippi Power as to who will pick up part of the tab for the Kemper County Energy Facility. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the plant was to become a shining example of clean coal technology, but was not cost-effective in the end.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission will take up the Kemper matter in executive session at its monthly meeting today. PSC Chairman Brandon Presley says enough time has been given to reach an agreement on the power plant. He says it's now time for the commission to act.
"You will see the commission move forward with a formal proceeding to see why the offers that were made by each party were rejected and to get at additional facts in the case."
The PSC has three settlement conditions. First, Mississippi Power customers will not see an additional rate increase related to the nearly $7.5 billion dollar project. Then, customers will not pay for anything related to the failed coal gasification part of the plant. And, Kemper will produce electricity by natural gas only, as it has been since 2014. Presley says it's time to put the Kemper issue to rest.
"I intend for us to wrap this up, and give the rate payers, and the people of Mississippi, some finality to this case and to this issue, just as soon as possible."
Mississippi Power wants the commission to consider allowing the company to charge customers for additional costs from the natural gas part of the operation without raising rates.