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PSC Approves Rate Increase for Kemper Coal Plant

By Daniel Cherry | Published 05 Mar 2013 08:08pm | comments
A resident offers public comment to Public Service commissioners.
The Mississippi Public Service Commission has approved a rate increase for Mississippi Power Company's customers to help pay for construction of a new power plant. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, the rate hike isn't as much as the company wanted.
 
Under the ruling, Mississippi Power may collect a 12 to 13 percent rate increase in order to fund construction of it's power plant in Kemper County. That comes out to about 20 dollars per month extra for the average residential customer. 
 
"It's not going to cost ratepayers near what had been reported in the past."
 
That's Public Service Southern District Commissioner, Leonard Bentz. Mississippi Power was asking for a 21 percent rate increase. Bentz says there hasn't been a new power plant built in Mississippi in 30 years, and ratepayers will eventually see the benefits of this plant.
 
"We're building a state of the art coal plant in the State of Mississippi, using Mississippi resources. I know it's an increase, but it's a minimal increase."
 
Before the ruling, the commission heard testimony from dozens of residents for and against the plant. Wayne Ferrill of Gulfport believes Mississippi Power's investors should pay for the plant.
 
"I don't have somebody else footing the bill for my progress, so why should the people in the state of Mississippi foot the bill for Mississippi Power."
 
The public hearing was held in Jackson. But some opponents of the plant like Louie Miller, Director of the Mississippi Sierra Club, said the hearing should have been held in south Mississippi.
 
"The district that is being impacted by the Kemper rate increases, and it's unfortunate people have to travel 6 hours round trip on a bus to come have their voices heard."
 
Mississippi Power say the plant is already 75 percent complete and will be in operation by May 2014.

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A resident offers public comment to Public Service commissioners.


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