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Biofuel company announces plans for Mississippi refinery

A British company aims to build a $300 million refinery in southwest Mississippi to turn wood into the equivalent of diesel or jet fuel. Velocys announced Friday that it signed an option for a 100-acre (40-hectare) site in Natchez. Chandler Russ of economic development agency Natchez Inc. says Velocys plans 40 refinery jobs averaging $100,000 yearly in pay and benefits, ...

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CECIL BROWN — STEM education is Mississippi’s bridge to a brighter future

  As advocates for our community, we sometimes become so focused on the fight against poverty that we don’t pause to build the bridges that will help folks actually improve their lives. Policymakers are worried about finding abundant, high quality jobs that are critical to healthy economic growth. Meanwhile, companies are scrambling to find qualified applicants to meet the growing ...

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Latest failure from Barbour years: Stion to shut down plant in Hattiesburg

By JACK WEATHERLY Stion Corp., the solar panel maker in Hattiesburg, will shut down, the company said in a letter. The San Jose, Calif.-based company’s Hattiesburg facility has been operating since 2012, said in the letter it would “discontinue operations,” Greentech Media, an industry publication, reported on Monday. Stion was one of five alternative-energy projects begun during the administration of Gov. ...

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Mississippi regulators won’t take utility path to rate vote

Mississippi regulators are rejecting a request to set terms of a debate over customer rates in a way favored by a utility. The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted 3-0 Thursday to maintain its current plan for deciding on rates to pay for part of Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County power plant. The decision rejects a request by the unit of ...

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Analysis: Do regulators hear praises of Mississippi Power?

It’s beginning to sound like 2010 again at the Public Service Commission. Business and government leaders have streamed into rate proceedings over Mississippi Power Co.’s Kemper County power plant, supporting the utility’s position. And Mississippi Power, a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., has taken an aggressive position that commissioners should hurry up and do what the company wants, instead of ...

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Mississippi ranks 9th in solar growth in second quarter

By JACK WEATHERLY Mississippi ranked ninth in the country in solar power growth in the second quarter by adding 92.9 megawatts, thanks largely to projects brought online by utilities. The U.S. industry installed 2,387 megawatts of solar facilities for the quarter, a record increase of 8 percent over the year-earlier quarter, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “This ...

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Entergy investing $136M in advanced metering

By BECKY GILLETTE It is a big investment installing new advanced metering infrastructure for every customer of Entergy Mississippi. The Mississippi Public Service Commission approved Entergy’s plan for AMI in homes and businesses in May. The total cost of the system to be installed between 2019 and 2021 is $136 million, with Entergy Mississippi estimating a long-term cost savings to ...

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PSC’s Presley: Only 30 percent of state utility spending went to Mississippi firms

By JULIA MILLER The origin of Public Service Commission’s new “Hire Mississippi” rule is simple. “I drive all over the state, and I was driving by construction sites and kept seeing out-of-state car tags,” Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley said. It frustrated him because he knew these sites were funded by taxpayers. He decided to research the numbers, and his ...

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