Supreme court will hear Kemper Coal Plant arguments Mississippi Power & Southern Company
December 12, 2011 Leave a comment
Supreme court will hear Kemper Coal Plant arguments
by MBJ Staff (Mississippi Business Journal)
Published: November 4,2011
The Mississippi Supreme Court will hear arguments from the Sierra Club challenging the state Public Service Commission’s approval of the project in Kemper County by Mississippi Power Co. Mississippi Power has started construction of the $2.4 billion coal plant.
Oral arguments are scheduled for Dec. 14.
The suit was filed and heard in Harrison County Chancery Court. Judge Jim Persons ruled in favor of the Commission and Gulfport-based Mississippi Power in February.
Mississippi Power began building the Kemper plant after the Commission passed a second conditional approval of the facility with 2-1 vote in May 2010.
The Commission’s first conditional approval was passed in April of 2010 and capped the project at $2.4 billion, among other restrictions. The second order, passed approximately one month later, limits the plant’s cost overruns to $2.88 billion and also allows the utility to charge customers for financing costs before the plant becomes operational.
The Sierra Club believes the Commissions’ second conditional approval of the plant is arbitrary and unsupported by evidence presented in extensive hearings regarding the project.
The suit says that the Commissioners “did not explain how their finding that a $2.88 billion cost was acceptable could be squared with their previous finding that there is no evidence to support a cost of over $2.4 billion.”
State Sierra Club director Louie Miller said the club has taken on the unexpected role of consumer advocate in addition to environmental advocate in this case.
Included in the suit is an effort to make customer rate impacts from the plant available to the public.