Mississippi Power will not build coal-fired plant in Kemper County

By MARIA BURNHAM – Associated Press

JACKSON

 Mississippi Power Co. will not build a coal-fired generating plant in Kemper County.

The company made the decision after state regulators said Thursday they would approve the application, but with a long list of conditions — conditions Mississippi Power says make it impossible to finance or construct the plant.

The three-member Mississippi Public Service Commission voted 2-1 in favor of proposal, detailing its decision in a 50-page document.

The most significant condition was a cap in the amount of construction costs the company would be able to charge to rate payers.

“We are disappointed in this decision,” company spokeswoman Cindy Duvall said in a statement. “We put forth the best option available to us to meet our customers’ needs with reliable and affordable energy.”

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co., wanted to build a $2.4 billion plant in Kemper County. The plant would have used a new technology that converts a soft coal called lignite into a gas that would fuel turbines to create electricity. The lignite would have been locally mined. The technology is known as IGCC, or Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle. Kemper County officials were disappointed in the company’s decision not to build.

The county was counting on the plant to provide much-needed jobs for residents, said James Granger, president of the Kemper County Board of Supervisors.

The plant would have created 260 permanent jobs, and 1,000 jobs during the construction phase. The tax money would have also provided an economic “shot in the arm” to the county and its schools, Granger said.

“We’re going to keep praying it happens,” he said.

Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2010/04/29/2142296/mississippi-power-will-not-build.html#ixzz0maKXsZeL

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