MS Power adds $25M to cost of Kemper Co. lignite plant

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - The cost of Mississippi Power's Kemper County lignite plant continues to swell. In a report filed with the Mississippi Public Service Commission on Tuesday, the power company increased the estimated cost to complete the project by $25 million.

The total estimated cost of the Kemper County plant now sits at $6.25 billion. The project was originally expected to cost $2.4 billion.

Mississippi Power spokesman Jeff Shepard said the additional money is needed to support startup, commissioning activities and operational readiness.

The power company also received some favorable news from the PCS Tuesday. The PCS denied Thomas Blanton's motion to dismiss a proposed 18 percent rate hike.

"The PSC confirmed that the company has the right to request permanent rate recovery for the assets already in service at the Kemper facility because they are, and have been, used and useful for more than a year without the company earning any permanent cost recovery," said Shepard in a media release. "We believe the PSC's decision to deny Mr. Blanton's motion is supported by the evidence in the record and Mississippi law."

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