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Extreme weather poses increasing threat to US power grid

  WAVELAND — When Hurricane Katrina’s punishing storm surge plowed ashore, it swamped seven of Coast Electric Power Association’s substations, vital to powering thousands of Mississippi homes and businesses. The facilities have long since been repaired, but a decade after the storm they remain at the same elevation, and just as vulnerable to catastrophic hurricanes. Such storms are a growing ...

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Congress could send more cash to Kemper plant in budget deal

JACKSON — A massive federal spending bill could channel tens of millions more to Mississippi Power Co. to aid construction of its $6.5 billion power plant in Kemper County. The language, engineered by U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., could ultimately hold down rates that the company’s 186,000 customers will have to pay. Up to $160 million is available from projects ...

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Power association to appeal net-metering rule

By JACK WEATHERLY The South Mississippi Electric Power Association objects to the state’s new net-metering rule whereby homeowners and others can produce electricity and sell it to utilities. The association contends the state Public Service Commission is attempting to set rates for its 419,000 customers, departing from a long-standing policy of the association’s membership deciding that. But it is willing ...

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‘Clean coal’ technology fails to capture world’s attention

DEKALB — The Kemper County power plant was supposed to be up and running by now, showing the world how to burn coal without spewing climate-warming carbon pollution into the air. Instead, the coal plant towering over pine trees and pastures in rural Mississippi is looking like another monument to the unfulfilled promise of carbon capture technology. Construction costs have ...

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Natural gas rates keep falling; Entergy lowers rates

JACKSON — Only months after Entergy Mississippi customers got a break on electricity bills because of falling natural gas prices, they’re likely to get another. Pending approval by the Public Service Commission, the unit of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. expects to collect $75 million less in 2016 to pay for natural gas. For residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatts of electricity ...

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Analysis: New PSC member Brown could be swing vote on Kemper

Marked for death by Republicans, Democrat Cecil Brown may end up playing a critical role when he takes up his new post as public service commissioner representing the Central District. Four years ago, the Democrat was dethroned from his perch as chairman of the House Education Committee and bumped off the House Appropriations Committee by the incoming GOP majority. The ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Despite speculation, funding for Kemper plant likely

As the current membership of the Mississippi Public Service Commission nears a decision on the initial rate hike requested by Mississippi Power Company for its Kemper power plant, speculation runs rampant on what the new membership will do on next year’s full funding request.    Speculation spiked last week when Moody’s downgraded the company’s credit rating and, prematurely, cited the ...

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Solar projects approved for Mississippi Power

MBJ staff The Public Service Commission unanimously approved on Tuesday three solar power projects that will produce just over 105 megawatts of electricity for customers of Mississippi Power Co. Mississippi Power ratepayers will not bear any costs in the construction of the plants, which will be located in Hattiesburg, Sumrall, and Gulfport. Mississippi Power expects the plants to ultimately help ...

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Miss. Power agrees to charge less for part of Kemper plant

JACKSON — Mississippi Power Co. said Tuesday it will accept a smaller rate increase for part of the $6.4 billion Kemper County power plant it’s building. The Public Utilities Staff announced it has reached an agreement with the company to cut the increase to 15 percent. For a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, rates would fall ...

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Father of state Republican Party, Clarke Reed, supports Democrat

My name is Clarke Reed. I am from Greenville. I am the second State Chairman of the Republican Party in modern times and have been active in Republican leadership roles since the early ‘60s. For the first time in my 87 years, I am supporting a Democrat, Thomas Blanton, Democratic candidate for Public Service Commission in the 3rd District. This ...

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