We often tell our kids, "Never put all your eggs in one basket." At Mississippi Power, we are diversifying our fuel mix by adding Mississippi Lignite to our current mix of natural gas and coal. Mississippi Lignite will provide decades of low-cost fuel and avoid huge price swings associated with unpredictable fuel markets. It is the lowest cost fuel available - and with a 4-billion-ton reserve in Mississippi we can secure a stable fuel source while reducing our dependence on foreign fuel.
The Kemper facility will be fueled by Mississippi lignite, an abundant, affordable natural resource that is not subject to the price volatility and transportation costs associated with other fuel sources.
Mississippi Power already has about 54 percent of its current generation fleet using natural gas. Having a portion of this fuel source in the mix allows the company to take advantage of the occasional low cost swings of natural gas. However, being too dependent on any one source, particularly one with such historical price spikes, leaves customers vulnerable to high bills directly associated with fuel costs. Lignite will be a stable source of fuel that has little cost increase over the 40-year life of the plant.
The United States has more coal than any other fuel - more, in fact, than the rest of the world combined has oil. It is the fuel that accounts for about 45 percent of the nation's electricity generation.
Coal continues to remain a low cost and less volatile-priced fuel source than others. However, rising transportation costs (rail and shipping) tied to the price of diesel have also increased the cost of using coal. The Kemper County energy facility provides additional stability and savings by tapping Mississippi's 4-billion-ton reserve of low-cost lignite and using a mine-mouth operation which avoids transportation costs.