Mississippi Power customers who want to get on the website to ask questions about the costs and prudency of the Kemper energy plant should be ready to be overwhelmed.
Unless the customer is an engineer, accountant or attorney, the technical and legal documents filed on the site are beyond most people’s understanding.
The website was ordered by the Mississippi Public Service Commission to provide a place where the public can see information about the power plant and to ask questions about the now–$6.7 billion cost and the timeline.
“We can make this process transparent and open, but we can’t reduce the complexity,” said Shawn Shurden, general counsel for the PSC.
“SharePoint isn’t set up like a chat room,” he said of the computer software. “The way you ask a question is through email.”
Only Mississippi Power customers may ask questions via email after registering. The company will post the question and answer within 30 days on the website.
Here is the process for getting on the website:
▪ Go to the PSC website
▪ Click on the box to certify you are a Mississippi Power customer.
▪ Fill in the information request with your name, address, phone number and email address.
▪ Confirm your information is correct.
▪ You will receive a series of emails from the PSC and Mississippi Power saying your request is being processed.
▪ Within about two days you will receive a login and password from Mississippi Power.
▪ You also will receive letters in the mail from the PSC and Mississippi Power’s attorney, Balch & Bingham.
Once on the website, the landing page has two files of public documents. The first, which ends in 0189, contains documents the PSC required Mississippi Power to post from a prior prudence docket, Shurden said.
The second file, ending in 0161, is the current filing and customers can see everything that has been posted to the site.
The questions asked so far are from the Public Utilities staff. After registration, most of the other people’s data requests and responses will be visible. Some of the answers may contain classified information, Shurden said, and he will resolve any disputes about what can be shared with the public.
PSC Commissioner Sam Britton said he hopes those with expertise in the areas involving Kemper will review the documents and ask questions so the public can see the information.
“We’re doing something out of the ordinary,” Shurden said.
Three 60-day periods were established for asking questions and he said “there will be thousands and thousands of documents produced.”
In addition to the website administered by Mississippi Power, the PSC website has monthly reports about the progress and costs of Kemper .