Public Service commissioner speaks on Kemper Power Plant
Next Thursday, the state’s Public Service Commission is set to hear potential solutions regarding the Kemper County Power Plant.
Two days ago, Mississippi Power notified the commission that it would immediately suspend the lignite coal gasification efforts at its power plant in North Mississippi, a first of its kind project that many had hoped would boost prospects for clean coal. The announcement came one week after Public Service Commission said the power plant should run as a natural gas plant.
The project initially had a price tag of roughly $2.9 billion, but now rings in at seven and half billion dollars after months of delayed start up dates.
At next Thursday’s meeting in Jackson the public service commissioners will hear proposed solutions for the Kemper County Plant.
Meanwhile, South Mississippi’s Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton tells News 25 the gas portion of the plant is still providing electricity and has been since 2014. “We have a natural gas plant that is generating electricity now. It’s not like the Kemper facility is going to completely shut down. It’s only the portion with the lignite. It is generating electricity, using natural gas, and that’s one big misconception we have found that people have. They were not informed that a portion of the plant was operating using natural gas.”
Earlier this month, Mississippi regulators told the utility to negotiate a deal shielding customers from paying the $3.4 billion in cost overruns. There are about 180,000 Mississippi Power customers in South Mississippi.