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Mississippi Power asks PSC to reconsider its settlement agreement

Mississippi Power has asked the Public Service Commission to reconsider the settlement agreement the company said it has reached with multiple parties on the Kemper energy facility. The Public Utilities Staff hasn’t agreed to the settlement and the PSC said it will begin hearings in December.
Mississippi Power has asked the Public Service Commission to reconsider the settlement agreement the company said it has reached with multiple parties on the Kemper energy facility. The Public Utilities Staff hasn’t agreed to the settlement and the PSC said it will begin hearings in December.

Mississippi Power on Friday asked the Mississippi Public Service Commission to take another look at the settlement agreement on the Kemper County energy facility.

After settlement talks broke down, the PSC said last week it would begin hearings Dec. 4 so the parties involved could explain their positions.

The new filing asks the PSC to reconsider whether an appropriate agreement has already been reached.

The company said it did reach agreement with multiple parties by the deadline. But the company hasn’t been able to come to an agreement with the Public Utilities Staff, which operates under the governor’s office.

The sticking point comes down to rates. The PSC directed Mississippi Power not to increase rates for customers to cover Kemper costs and to reduce rates if possible. Mississippi Power said in its settlement that it would keep rates the same. But the Public Utilities Staff objects to millions in costs and asks that rates be cut.

Mississippi Power said that until June 21 it was on track to recover $3.4 billion in costs for the lignite gasification portion of the $7.5 billion plant. Then the PSC ordered the plant to operate only on natural gas, and the company said it absorbed those costs in addition to more than $3 billion it already had written off.

The company’s filing said the only costs remaining for ratepayers are for the natural gas portion of the facility, which has been in operation for three years, and it can recover those costs without a rate increase.

On Monday, Mississippi Power reported that it also issued a promissory note Friday of up to $150 million to its parent Southern Co. Mississippi Power borrowed $109 million Friday to pay its federal taxes for the quarter ending Sept. 30, the company said.

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