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Mississippi Power must refund $281mn to customers for Kemper IGCC project

Kemper County IGCC power plant construction cost increase Mississippi Power Southern Co

The Mississippi Supreme Court ordered a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) to refund $281 million to customers for the Kemper County integrated gasification combined-cycle power project.
A businessman said in his lawsuit against Mississippi Power that rate hikes totaling 18 percent in 2013 and 2014 were “confiscatory takings” that violated state and federal constitutions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Customers were being charged for electricity that they weren’t receiving from the $6.1 billion project. Southern Co. recently announced that further construction costs and fuel during plant startup cost an additional $45 million, bringing the price tag up to $6.2 billion. The utility estimated the plant and lignite coal mine would cost $2.8 billion.
The Kemper project is two years behind schedule and is slated to start in 2016. It is designed to turn coal into a gas that would be burned to make electricity.