PSC holds hearing on power plant filings

Published 8:32 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Mississippi Public Service Commission will hire two consultants as it prepares to decide the fate of a planned $2.2 billion power plant in Kemper County.

The PSC on Tuesday approved the hiring of a consultant for no more than $500,000 and the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff also will hire one consultant for no more than $200,000. The PSC had to lift a cap on service contracts before moving forward.

Mississippi Power Co. is seeking a rate increase to build the lignite plant.

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A state law now allows the PSC to approve utility rate increases before companies build power-generating plants. Since Mississippi Power is the first to potentially use the new law, the PSC agreed more money might be needed to hire consultants before ruling on the project.