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A message from MS Power District Manager

In her Nov. 22 editorial titled “Kemper County Lignite Plant,” Donna Kenzevich used inaccurate information to make her argument against Mississippi Power’s Kemper County energy facility.

The truth is, Mississippi Power customers will not pay one penny more for construction of the project above the limit that has been agreed to by the state Public Service Commission.

Deemed as the best option to meet the need for additional safe and reliable electricity generation, the innovative and proven technology of the Kemper County energy facility was approved to meet customers’ long-term energy needs.

At the time of certification, Mississippi Power projected Kemper construction to increase customer bills by more than 30 percent. Today, the estimated total increase for the Kemper project is approximately 22 to 24 percent – far below the 30 to 60 percent referenced in the previous editorial. And that increase is for all Mississippi Power customers, both residential and commercial.

Also, while it is possible for Kemper to run on natural gas, the plant would be less efficient and less economical than other combined cycle units – and far less economical than using abundantly available lignite. Without Kemper, as much as 80 percent of Mississippi Power customers’ electricity would be generated with natural gas, leaving customers exposed to natural gas market price fluctuations.

The value of Kemper is not just in its ability to deliver electricity, but in its ability to do so with local Mississippi lignite – a low cost fuel at stable prices. Once Kemper is fully online, the energy produced from that lignite is expected to be the cheapest in the company’s fleet of generating units and also will complement our existing use of natural gas and coal as power generating sources.

Mississippi Power is committed to the long-term success of this project and providing stable energy prices for customers. The addition of the Kemper County energy facility will ensure we continue to provide decades of clean, reliable, and affordable energy to our customers and communities.

Benny Prestridge
District Manager
Mississippi Power