SMEPA to move forward on Kemper power plant deal

KEMPER COUNTY and HATTIESBURG — The South Mississippi Electric Power Association says it will go through with its planned purchase of 15 percent of a Kemper County power plant.

The group, which generates and transmits power to 11 electric cooperatives in southern and western Mississippi, says it will pay $500 million for its share of the $2.8 billion plant, which Mississippi Power Co. is building.

Mississippi Power is a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co.

SMEPA believes that because wholesale rates will increase once the coal-fired Kemper plant is completed, the cooperative would be better off owning a share.

The cooperative hopes to complete the sale by year’s end. The federal Rural Utilities Service needs to approve a loan for SMEPA and the Mississippi Public Service Commission needs to approve the sale.

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