Saturday, May 23, 2015

WSJ: Kemper most expensive fossil-fuel power plant in America

Our good ole Kemper project made the top of the front page of the business section in the Wall Street Journal today.   The newspaper reported:

The future of the most expensive fossil-fuel power plant built in the U.S. is facing new pressures after a Mississippi utility backed out of its commitment to the clean-coal project.

South Mississippi Electric Power Association, which furnishes power to smaller utilities in the state, dropped its plan to buy a $600 million, 15% stake in the project spearheaded by Atlanta-based Southern Co. , citing construction delays.

Southern, in turn, notified state regulators that it may have to raise electricity rates for Mississippi power customers by 41%, or $37 a month for the typical household, to pay for the project.

South Mississippi Electric Power’s move deals a significant blow to the project in Kemper County, Miss., which has been delayed two years and now has an in-service date of 2016. The plant was expected to provide a bright future for the coal industry, under attack for its pollution profile, but instead it has exposed the risks of pursuing novel clean-coal technology.....

The cost of the Kemper power plant has ballooned several times to $6.2 billion, as the price tag swept past the $2.88 billion cap set by state utility regulators to protect customers from budget overruns. Southern has already taken about $2 billion in charges to earnings related to the plant construction.

The Kemper project is expensive because its costs include a new coal mine, a chemical plant to gasify coal, a power plant, plus a pipeline and electric transmission lines.

Coal has been one of the cheapest—and dirtiest—sources of energy for power production. Escalating costs for clean-coal power may make Kemper’s electricity some of the priciest in the nation..... Rest of article.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Haley.

Anonymous said...

This isn't Hayley's fault. It is the leadership of Mississippi power company. Throw the CEOs in jail for a few years. That'll stifle theirwrecklessspending

Anonymous said...

Proud of our Public Service Commisioner from North Mississippi. He called this one from the beginning!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Haley's fault? Stop talking drugs!

Anonymous said...

It is Haley's fault. He changed the law that allowed MPC to charge the customers before the damned plant was built
Now were facing A 37 TO 40 dollar charge because they didn't have a clue how to build this MONSTROSITY and all they had to do was use gas and it would have been working 3 years ago

Anonymous said...

The PSC commissioner from the southern half had to get HIS daddy to change the law so he could get a job with gulf regional planning district even though he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to planning.
What law did he change you ask? Thank you for asking, he changed the law that you needed a college degree to hold the office of director. He was elected to PSC commissioner with out a college degree too so thank Haley for his promotion to that office

Anonymous said...

Barbour is a lobbyist - someone who steers public money into private pockets.

He didn't stop being that when he got elected gov. On the contrary.

Anyone surprised by this is naive.

Anonymous said...

This is sickening. Haley swore on a bible to protect Mississippi and her citizens. He has fail with Kemper. He should never be allowed to set foot in Mississippi again.

Anonymous said...

Haley's boys: Tony Greer in central. Britton in the South.
Consumers choice: Brent Bailey in central. Tony Smith in the South.
Presley has fought this thing since day 1...

Watch the IE money late in the game. How much will Haley and the Southern Company brass drop to ensure the tax payers pick up the bill on this 6.2 billion dollar boon doggle. I challenge every member of our media (not just KF) to watch these races. All the underpinnings of a great Grisham thriller...

Anonymous said...

My vote will be for Brent Bailey. He works in the energy business and has never held public office. He is a no nonsense type business man which is what we need. That's my opinion

Anonymous said...

KF, if it's true that the qualifications for Public Service Commissioner were changed so that a college degree is not required, Mississippians need a list of everyone who voted for that bill.

Even with a college degree, understanding whether or not rate increases are justified or legal documents has apparently been beyond the comprehension abilities of the majority of those we elected before this bill.

Long ago, Mississippians paying f should have seen dramatically reduced rates. But, in a slight of hand, replacing MPL with Entergy guaranteed we were not " rewarded" for our forced " investment" in Grand Gulf.

When this plant was proposed, Mississippi had excess power being sold to other states.

We need commissioners who can comprehend what their job is!

It is to look after the interests of the consumer since those they are regulating have, in effect, a monopoly on the product being sold.

Anonymous said...

Greer is all-in with Kemper. He said so in radio interview.

Haley's Comedy said...

Since when does a governor 'change a law'? Some of you are giving Ole Haley much credit than he deserves. First, he didn't have the ability to change a law and second, he ain't this smart. He's just a few years outa Ole Miss playin' church-league softball up at Yazoo City.

Anonymous said...

These mid-ticket races are always interesting to watch. Id assume he with the biggest war chest shall prevail though unfortunately. Looks like Hayes Dent is running the Brent Bailey campaign. I also noticed Mike Retzer and Clark Reed on the Bailey invite that was put on JJ. Maybe the strategy should be to get the governor to endorse your opponent because it worked so well for Boyce Adams and Windy Swetman!?

Anonymous said...

Cecil brown would be the best choice to help the rate payers in kemper county.

Kingfish said...

It is actually a very well qualified field. If we had these type of candidates in most races, the state would be much better off.

Anonymous said...

yay! We're number 1!

Anonymous said...

Cecil Brown, you are the man! Now please beat Haley's boy if Tony Greer is nominated.

Anonymous said...

The original vote for the Kemper plant was along party lines. Two republicans said YES, one democrat said NO. Why would we want to put 2 republicans back in charge again? No one knows the numbers like Cecil Brown.

Anonymous said...

You are correct. Cecil is a numbers guy. We need his brains and education at the PSC.

Anonymous said...

How to get your share of government money will claiming to be a conservative Republican - Raise money for Haley, get appointed to PSC even though you are not qualified, follow Haley's orders, make sure your friends and family also have tax payer funded jobs. Move on from PSC to another political appointment and leave the fallout for someone else to handle. At all times you must have a huge ego and an "aw, shucks, demeanor.

Anonymous said...

Why would souther co keep trying to use coal and build plants to burn coal when natural gas is at an all time low price wise and all time high inventory wise? Hummmmm makes you wonder??? Thats the real story.

Kingfish said...

Bailey and Brown are just alike when it comes to Kemper. I don't know Greer's official position on the subject.

Anonymous said...

How did Kemper happen when nat gas is so cheap?

(1) To justify Kemper, Mississippi Power paid a consulting firm to cook up fake natural gas price projections that made a monstrous clean-coal power plant look like an economic deal. Naturally, they filed this nat gas projects CONFIDENTIALLY, as proprietary business secrets, with the Public Service Commission. And the PSC let them.

(2) Mississippi Power filed the rate impact information for consumers CONFIDENTIALLY with the PSC, even though state law plainly says that is ILLEGAL and that rate impacts cannot be concealed from the public. The recent state Supreme Court decision explains this clearly.

The PSC let them break the law. Thus, consumers had no notice of the amount the rate impact would be (about 60%, according to anyone in the industry). The folks stuck with paying for this thing were never informed of the cost and never had a seat at the table.

Electric utilities make a 10% return on everything they build. What's 10% of several billion dollars? A lot of money.

Anonymous said...

Why would southern co keep trying to use coal and build plants to burn coal when natural gas is at an all time low price wise and all time high inventory wise? Hummmmm makes you wonder???

Even Reeves Barbour knows Uncle Sugar isn't giving out mad money for gas.

Anonymous said...

Damn idiots on here that can't read what has been said two comments above, or don't have any idea how government works, the power/non-power of different ofices - but can still provide their expert opinions on how the state should be run.

1) there was no change to the requirements to be a public service commissioner - the comment made earlier had to do with the head of SMPDD (south ms planning and development district for the uninformed). And I don't think that one member of that 20 member board was able to unilaterally change the requirements for the directorship. Besides - anybody with an elementary school degree could do a better job as director of that organization than the idiot that has been the director for the past four decades. (As an aside, of those four decades, he might have been sober for a grand total of one decade.)
2) Haley Barbour - unlike the constant statements from those of the "Anything Barbour Bad" fan club - did not change the way to finance power plants. The legislature passed a bill that Barbour signed. Last time I checked, MS still has a bi-cameral legislature and a three part government.
3) Electric utilities do not "make" any set percentage of everything they build. An idiotic statement from someone that must read too much on the internet only.
4) The PSC did not let anyone "break the law". And there is no Supreme Court ruling that says so.

As to any of the candidates running for PSC - if they have declared how they will vote on a ruling that will come before them in the future, should they be elected, they are violating ethical rules of their office. In their capacity they are like judges and should not be making decisions without having the evidence before them. At this point, the appropriate rate structure for MPC has not been determined pending prudency hearings. Without those hearings, it would seem to me impossible for Brown or Bailey to have made a determination of the rate as is required by the laws that they will be sworn to uphold. My understanding on Greer is that he intends to listen to the evidence and recommendation of the PSC staff and make his decision accordingly. Therefore, I am for Greer.

Sorry Stan F. Can't go with your whackos no matter how much you post here.

Anonymous said...

Stan the Man even wrote the WSJ article I guess. While that may not be true, one thing that is a fact is the Kemper Power project is a dismal failure by every measurement. Haley Barbour has made millions as a lobbyist for Ms.Power at the rate payers expense. Stan was right about no nuclear waste in Richton and he is also correct about Kemper. The rate payers are being screwed.

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