PSC gives temporary approval to Kemper coal plant construction

JACKSON — Utility regulators say Mississippi Power Co. can continue temporarily to build its Kemper County coal-fired power plant.

In a meeting today that lasted less than a minute, the state Public Service Commission voted 2-1 to give temporary construction authority to the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co.

The vote came weeks after the state Supreme Court ruled that the commission failed to adequately explain its reasons for easing financial restrictions on the $2.4 billion plant.

The ruling raised doubts over whether Mississippi Power could continue construction.

Southern District Commissioner Leonard Bentz and Central District Commissioner Lynn Posey, both Republicans, voted for continuation. Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, a Democrat, voted against.

Sierra Club representatives, who brought the lawsuit, said they could return to the Supreme Court to challenge the action.

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