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PSC votes 2-1 to reissue Kemper certificate

The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday morning to reissue the certificate of public convenience and necessity for Mississippi Power’s coal-fired plant in Kemper County.

Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley was the dissenting vote.

The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled in March that the PSC failed to cite sufficient evidence from the record in granting the first certificate. The court’s 9-0 ruling kicked proceedings back to the PSC. Preserved in the latest certificate is the $2.88 billion cap on construction costs MPC can pass to its ratepayers. Any cost overrun above $2.4 billion still must be approved by the PSC. Also, any construction costs above $2.4 billion cannot be recovered until the plant is in commercial operation.

MPC spokesman Jeff Shepard said after Tuesday’s hearing the plant would begin full-scale commercial activity in May 2014.

Louie Miller, executive of the Mississippi chapter of the Sierra Club, said after the meeting his organization would file for a stay on Tuesday’s ruling by the end of the day. It was unclear whether that filing would be made in Harrison County Chancery Court or with the Mississippi Supreme Court.

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