By Steve Wilson / July 7, 2015 / www.mississippiwatchdog.org
The Mississippi Public Service has taken a big step toward getting refund checks to Mississippi Power customers.
The three-commissioner board that regulates utilities voted 3-0 Tuesday to rescind the 18 percent increase — which Mississippi Power enacted to help fund the Kemper Project — starting with August bills for customers.
The refund could add up to $500 to $600 per 1,000 kilowatt-hour users, or between $335 and $350 million, according to Mississippi Power attorney Ben Stone.
Next up for the board will be a mechanism on how to get either checks or credits to the utility’s 186,000 customers in south Mississippi.
Mississippi Power’s request for a rehearing, which might have overturned the original order, was denied by the court in June.
The now-$6.229-billion plant is billions over budget, two years behind schedule and has sparked a series of lawsuits. It’s designed to convert the state’s abundant lignite coal reserves, mined nearby, into a natural gas-like substance called synthesis gas to burn in its electricity-generating turbines, which, since August, have been generating electricity using natural gas.