As a decision nears on the initial rate increase requested by Mississippi Power Company for Kemper, discussions have risen on what the Mississippi PSC will decide regarding next year’s full funding request. Although Mississippi Power Company has had a few setbacks, and two new Public Service commissioners have been elected, there have been some very positive movements in the right direction. For example, last week, the Public Utilities Staff announced it reached an agreement with Mississippi Power Company on an appropriate rate for Mississippians given the fact that the plant has been generating power for the grid over the past year.
In addition, Commissioner Brandon Presley has toned down his opposition toward Kemper and said “To stick our heads in the sand and make it go away is not going to happen. The commission has got to deal with it. I’m not going to jeopardize electric service to the coast and our huge economic engine to say, ‘I told you so.’ My view now is customers of Mississippi Power Company deserve protections. They need to know what they are going to pay, and only pay for things that they are going to get a benefit from. I felt we, as the PSC, have gotten better answers from the company since Ed Holland has been the CEO than we had in the past. There has been more transparency. We’ve been able to get better answers in a more timely fashion. We’ve gotten a clearer picture of where things are going.”
According to Bill Crawford, Author at Mississippi Business Journal, “the compromise with the utilities staff along with Presley’s comments suggests a way will be found to provide adequate funding for the plant after it comes online next spring.”
Meanwhile, the Kemper plant continues to progress toward full operation and has been producing power since August, 2014. In late October, Kemper successfully tested the first of its two coal gasification units that will turn locally mined lignite coal into syngas! The future is almost here! #MississippiPride