The months-long stalemate between Mississippi Power and the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff is over, with Mississippi Power announcing Friday afternoon it has reached a settlement agreement on the remaining costs associated with the Kemper County energy facility.
In light of the agreement, the Public Service Commission hearing set for Monday to try to resolve the issue is canceled. The PSC said Friday in the next week it will set a hearing for full consideration of the settlement and set deadlines for comments.
Along with the Public Utilities Staff, the agreement was joined by Chevron Products Co., the Federal Executive Agencies and Chemours Co.
“This agreement represents significant compromise from all parties involved, but is an important step to settle all costs remaining on the Kemper project,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson. “Putting the gasifier portion of Kemper that did not meet our expectations behind us is in the best interest of our customers, company and the state. We are pleased to continue operating an efficient natural gas facility at Kemper which has been serving our customers for more than three years.”
This agreement meets the final terms of the Public Service Commission when it directed that Kemper operate strictly on natural gas rather than lignite, that the customers be removed from the risk of the gasifier and related expenses and that customers see no rate increase and possibly a rate decrease.
“If this stipulation is approved, we expect significant changes to our business,” said Wilson. “As we adjust to this considerable loss of revenue, our top priority will be to maintain safe and reliable service to our customers.”
The Sun Herald will update this article.