Mississippi Power misses Kemper settlement deadline
Mississippi Power and the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff made separate filings Monday with the Mississippi Public Service Commission by the appointed deadline, but failed to reach a settlement regarding the utility’s failed Kemper integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) project, the SunHerald reports.
The PSC said it will review the filings and order a conference for Friday to update the status of settlement negotiations and to provide direction to reaching a settlement.
- The PSC had previously advised stakeholders that a settlement should not include a rate increase for Mississippi Power customers.
Early last month, the Mississippi PSC issued an order that signaled the end of Mississippi Power’s 582 MW Kemper IGCC project.
The plant was supposed to be a showcase clean coal project. It was designed to turn lignite from a nearby mine into gas to fuel turbines and to capture about 65% of the carbon dioxide emissions. But Mississippi Power could not get the gasifiers to work consistently, and had to pull the plug on the $7.5 billion project that was years behind schedule and about $4 billion over budget.
The order gave Mississippi Power 45 days to file a settlement with the PSC. In the order, the PSC also advised the parties that the settlement should not include rate increases for Mississippi Power customers and “at a minimum” should include “serious discussions” about a rate reduction.
The PSC also said the settlement should absolve ratepayers of risks associated with the coal gasifiers and should include modification to the project’s original certification to allow the project’s operation as a gas-fired plant.
Mississippi Power tried to reach a settlement, but said the counter proposals from the Public Utilities Staff would have left it “in such a condition that it could not continue to provide the same level of service that is at the core of MPC’s business,” according to the SunHerald.
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