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Commissioners Approve A Settlement for Kemper County Energy

Commissioners Approve A Settlement for Kemper County Energy Facility
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MS Public Service Commissioners
MPB News

Loss of a failed power plant will not cost ratepayers in the state. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission is unanimously approving a settlement regarding the Kemper County energy facility. Mississippi Power Company customers will get a 2.4 percent rate decrease as part of the agreement. Mississippi Power is writing off 6.4 billion dollars on the failed lignite coal gasification project. The company now agrees it won't ever ask customers to pay it back.

Public Service Commissioner Cecil Brown...

"The $6.4 billion majority of that is being absorbed by Southern Company, the parent of Mississippi Power Company, not Mississippi Power company. I think Mississippi Power Company today is in better shape than they have been was in quite a while. Going forward Southern Company will inject more capital into the company, more positive cash flow and show earnings," said Brown.

Commissioner Brandon Presley says he initially voted against the 582-megawatt power project. He considers this settlement to be the best outcome possible given the circumstances.

"Today it's operating in around 661 megawatts, that's 143 more megawatts of electricity are being produced at Kemper on natural gas than were anticipated in being produced on lignite coal," said Presley.
Presley says as part of the deal, the plant will be re-licensed as an exclusively natural gas plant.

In a statement, Mississippi Power says they are pleased the settlement will resolve the Kemper situation. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.