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Mississippi Power says Kemper plant on track to open in 2014

KEMPER COUNTY — Mississippi Power says its $2.8 billion lignite power plant is on track to open in May 2014.

President and CEO Ed Day tells The Clarion-Ledger construction is about 40 percent complete on the plant north of Meridian in Kemper County.

It’s been a rough year for the project.

Cost overruns increased the price from $2.4 billion and reduced Mississippi Power’s credit rating. The Mississippi Public Service Commission denied a $55 million rate hike to recoup some of the construction costs during construction.

The PSC has set a $2.88 billion cost cap — considered a rare step for utility regulators.

PSC member Brandon Presley, who has consistently voted against the plant, says he is skeptical of whether the utility can keep costs beneath the cap.

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