In latest filing, Miss. Power seeks permission — with conditions — to exceed Kemper cost cap
Mississippi Power Co. is asking the Public Service Commission to allow it to exceed the $2.88 billion cost cap on its Kemper County coal plant, under certain conditions.
Those are claims the Sierra Club, an opponent of the plant, made in a conference call Monday.
The company filed April 12 a revision to its proposed final order (which it filed April 2) that essentially seeks permission to go beyond the cost cap as long as it:
* Produces what the company calls “efficiencies” that are netural or favorable to the ratepayer. In other words, as long as it doesn’t cost the ratepayers any more money, or it saves ratapayers money over the life of the plant.
* The proposed cost increase is accompanied by an equal or greater revenue requirement decrease associated with one or more of the other estimates (like operational performance or sales of byproducts) in the company’s original proposal.
* The cost increase is caused by a natural disaster, terrorist strike, change in utility law, some sort of sabotage or a related event.
* To the extent the PSC does not allow 100 percent construction work in progress (CWIP), which MPC assumed when it made the $2.4 billion cost estimate, it will allow an increase in that figure to reflect the allowable funds used during construction (AFUDC) that CWIP would have obviated.
Mississippi Sierra Club’s Louie Miller said what MPC is asking for amounts to the company “reneging on everything they’ve agreed to.”
“We’re going from a mandatory-type environment to a permissive environment. This is what we’ve been concerned about all along.”
Commissioners have called a special meeting for Tuesday morning, where they will take up the Kemper project.
UPDATE: MPC spokesperson Jeff Shepard said after Tuesday’s hearing that the company was not trying to exceed the outer hard cap of $2.88 billion, but trying to “supplement the record” with more information.