Legislators pushing for bonds to cover Kemper plant costs

KEMPER COUNTY — Lawmakers are advancing a proposal to let Mississippi Power Co. sell bonds to cover expenses above $2.4 billion at the Kemper County power plant it’s building.

They also want to allow the Mississippi Public Service Commission to approve a multi-year rate plan, to prevent a rate spike when the plant begins operation.

The House Public Utilities Committee and Senate Energy Committee both approved a pair of bills today.

The bills support a settlement between the unit of the Atlanta-based Southern Co. and the PSC. Announced last week, it says Mississippi Power can only earn a profit on $2.4 billion in plant construction costs as well as lignite mine and pipeline costs. The company would sell bonds for anything above $2.4 billion, with ratepayers paying debt costs, with no company profit.

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