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Miss. Power names new VP of generation and development

Mississippi Power Co. announced Wednesday afternoon that John Huggins has been elected vice president of generation development.

Huggins replaces Tommy Anderson, who abruptly left in April.

Like Anderson, Huggins will oversee the development and construction of the utility’s Kemper County coal plant. Huggins has served since 2010 as general manager of the Kemper County facility’s start-up, engineering and construction services.

“John is not only a proven leader in engineering and construction, but also in implementing and sustaining successful energy facility operations,” Mississippi Power president Ed Holland said in a company press release. “He has the knowledge and experience needed for this role, but most importantly he knows this facility. I have every confidence in his ability to ensure the successful completion of the Kemper project.”

Huggins joined Southern Company in 1972 as an engineer. During his career he has held a number of leadership roles at Mississippi Power, Alabama Power and Southern Company. He served as general manager of clean air compliance, construction services and environmental program strategic planning. Huggins earned a bachelor of mechanical engineering degree from the University of Alabama, and is a registered, licensed professional engineer.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission is still trying to determine if the utility knew about a $366 million cost overrun that was revealed a couple weeks after regulators re-affirmed the project’s certificate of public convenience and necessity. Southern District commissioner Leonard Bentz told the Mississippi Business Journal in late May that the PSC had pursued information related to the overrun for the better part of a year, before learning that it had been withheld under former president Ed Day’s direction. Day resigned last month. Bentz said his office would continue to investigate the matter.

The plant, whose total cost has risen above $4 billion, is scheduled to start commercial operation in May 2014.

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