Mississippi utility will stop efforts to complete coal plant

The Kemper County power plant (Credit: Mississippi Power).

JACKSON, MS — “One of the nation’s largest utilities, faced with an ultimatum from Mississippi regulators, said Wednesday that it will suspend efforts to complete a first-of-its-kind coal-fueled power plant.

The move is a blow in efforts to develop coal plants that emit less carbon dioxide, which could be key to improving the health of the nation’s coal industry.

Mississippi Power Co., a unit of Southern Co., announced it was stopping efforts at its plant in Kemper County, near the Alabama state line. The Atlanta-based utility giant said Wednesday that it could lose another $3.4 billion from the Kemper County plant if it can’t reach a more favorable settlement with regulators. Shareholders have already lost $3.1 billion on the $7.5 billion plant.

…Sandy Buchanan, executive director of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said her group and others had repeatedly warned that the plant could be a ‘debacle.’

‘There have been billions of dollars now spent and none of it has resulted in the so-called clean coal,’ said Buchanan, whose group favors renewable energy and opposes the use of coal. ‘It’s time for us to recognize this is a myth. It is absolutely clear that coal is a thing of the past for electricity generation.'”

— Jeff Amy, Associated Press

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