Public Service Commission announces Kemper County Power Plant se - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Public Service Commission announces Kemper County Power Plant settlement

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: Mississippi Power Source: Mississippi Power
Source: Mississippi Power Source: Mississippi Power
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Kemper County Power plant was expected to make Mississippi a leader in a new clean coal technology. Instead, the plug’s been pulled on that part of the multi-billion dollar project.

The plant has come with a more than $7 billion price tag. And there had been talks of passing some of those costs on to ratepayers.

"When you talk Kemper, it began 9 years ago with the promise to produce clean power yet regretfully, Kemper lignite produced more problems than it has power," said Southern District Commissioner Sam Britton.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission didn't want to see customers pay for the technology that never fully reached its goal. It was coal gasification technology that would've allowed them to capture CO2 and send it out to be reused for enhanced oil recovery.

"We wanted to make sure the customers were not liable for any part of the assets related to the coal gasification portion of the plant," noted Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley.

"The customers of Mississippi Power company have not ever paid and will not ever pay one red cent for the mistakes that were made by Mississippi Power Company, the cost of the gasifiers," added Central District Commissioner Cecil Brown.

The plant will now operate solely as a natural gas power plant. Mississippi Power had once warned of a total rate increase of up to 40 percent. But the settlement also includes a rate decrease.

"About three dollars per bill," added Commissioner Brown.

Meanwhile, Mississippi Power said in a statement:

"Throughout the settlement process, Mississippi Power has met each directive from the Commission and has worked with key parties to ensure our customers are shielded from any increase in rates related to Kemper. We look forward to the continued operation of this efficient natural gas facility, which has been serving our customers for more than three years."

This deal puts the full financial burden of $6.4 billion on the shareholders.

It should be noted, there is a Hattiesburg oilman who still opposes the deal and has expressed that he may challenge the details of the settlement.

PREVIOUS STORY: Public Service Commissioners start clock on Kemper County Power Plant Settlement

PREVIOUS STORY: Controversy sparks before electricity flows at Kemper

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