SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A decision by South Mississippi Electric adds even more financial instability to the cloud hanging over Mississippi Power's Kemper County lignite plant. Board members with South Mississippi Electric's 11 cooperatives no longer have an interest in purchasing a 15 percent stake in the Kemper County facility.
Their reason for breaking off those talks had everything to do with money.
“It would have led to higher rates for us,” South Mississippi Electric CEO Jim Compton told WLOX News, noting the deal would have cost the 11 cooperatives $620 million. “We determined it wasn't something we could afford in rates.”
Coast Electric and Singing River Electric are two of the 11 cooperatives that make up South Mississippi Electric.
Board members for the cooperatives and Mississippi Power first agreed to the partnership in 2010, but a news release from South Mississippi Electric cites construction delays and changing needs as two reasons why the board of directors voted to end its pursuit of the Kemper plant.
“We will, at some point, have to buy something else,” Compton said. “We determined Kemper was not that something else.”