Mississippi Power Corrects Erroneous Information by the Sierra Club
GULFPORT, MS – Mississippi Power is very concerned about the recent press statement by the Sierra Club regarding the proposed Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) Plant. It is misleading and contains information that is simply not true.
“It is normally not our practice to acknowledge such erroneous information. However, when it affects our customers, we feel it is our responsibility to set the record straight,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Topazi.
The IGCC plant is what is commonly called a “clean coal technology plant.” This plant will be as clean as the gas plants that the Sierra Club is insisting Mississippi Power use instead.
In fact the Congress of the United States has passed legislation that endorses this technology and provides several hundred million dollars to Mississippi Power and its customers to aid in construction of this clean coal plant. Congress recently approved new legislation that will make it possible for Mississippi Power to apply for approximately $200 million of additional incentives for construction of this new clean coal plant.
The Sierra Club also states that the recent order of the PSC turns down Mississippi Power’s request for pre-planning costs. This is also misleading.
Mississippi Power requested that the Commission make several determinations earlier than they had previously scheduled. The Commission determined that it would stay on the present schedule and consider all of the requests of Mississippi Power on its previously issued schedule. No costs or other matters were denied.
Mississippi Power has proposed to build an IGCC generating plant in Kemper County, Mississippi. Their request is now pending before the Public Service Commission (“PSC”.) The purpose of this plant is to meet the electricity needs of the citizens of Southeast Mississippi, and to reduce the cost they would otherwise pay for electricity.
Mississippi Power, headquartered in Gulfport, MS, provides retail and wholesale electric service to approximately 200,000 customers in 23 counties from the Gulf Coast to Meridian. The company owns or has significant ownership interests in six generating facilities with net dependable generating capacity of 3,166 megawatts. Electricity is sent across 8,371 miles of transmission and distribution lines to retail customers principally in Gulfport, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Pascagoula, Columbia, Laurel, Waveland, Lucedale and Picayune.
Large wholesale customers include six electric cooperatives -- Coast EPA, Singing River EPA, Southern Pine EPA, Dixie EPA, Pearl River EPA and East Mississippi EPA -- the City of Collins and South Mississippi Electric Power Authority. Large retail customers include the following: the region’s United States military installations -- Keesler Air Force Base and Naval Construction Battalion Center (Seabee Base); the University of Southern Mississippi; NASA Stennis Space Center; oil and gas infrastructure, including a refinery; multiple foundries and shipbuilders; the Mississippi National Guard’s Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center near Hattiesburg and the Mississippi Air National Guard in Meridian.
Mississippi Power, a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), employs 1,300 Mississippi residents. In 2008, Mississippi Power paid $115 million in federal, state and local taxes. Southern Company stock is held by nearly 3,000 Mississippi residents.
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