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Dispute over Mississippi electricity prices heads to trial

Mississippi’s attorney general wants a federal judge to order the state’s largest private utility to repay more than $1 billion he says Entergy Mississippi overcharged customers.

The unit of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. says it’s done nothing wrong and that the dispute belongs before a regulator, not a judge.

AG Jim Hood says Entergy should have bought cheaper electricity from third parties for its 447,000 Mississippi customers. Entergy says it needed to generate power from its own plants, even if they were expensive to run, to handle moment-to-moment fluctuations in power supplies.

The judge said Friday that the facts and law surrounding the dispute need further airing before he can decide. A bench trial is set to begin Monday in Jackson.

The trial is could last more than two weeks.

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