Mississippi Power's Kemper County energy facility achieves major milestones toward completion
- Effluent begins filling reservoir
- Largest components delivered
- Main electrical building energized
Gulfport, Miss. – Now more than 70 percent complete, Mississippi Power's Kemper County energy facility has achieved several major milestones in recent weeks.
The reservoir that will hold the plant's cooling water is now being filled with treated effluent from the City of Meridian, Miss. In a move hailed as a win-win, Mississippi Power and the City of Meridian have entered into a long-term contractual agreement to supply cooling water for the plant while creating new revenue for the city.
In addition to the environmental benefit of using treated effluent, the plant is designed as a zero liquid-discharge facility. None of the water used in the process of generating electricity will be discharged, protecting local streams and waterways.
This past week, the plant's two largest pieces of equipment were delivered to the site. The components will aid in reducing emissions, and the byproduct produced will be sold to lower the plant's overall cost to customers once it is in service.
The delivery was a skilled, coordinated effort between the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the Kemper County Sheriff's Department, the City of DeKalb, Tennessee Valley Authority, 4-County Electric Power Association, East Mississippi Electric Power Association and Burkhalter Rigging.
Also last week, energy began flowing for the first time from the Mississippi Power grid and the plant's switchyard to the main electrical building.
"These milestones are indicators of the tremendous progress being made every day to deliver 21st century coal technology to our customers," said Tommy Anderson, vice president of generation development at Mississippi Power. "And with more than 3,000 workers on-site today, the project is helping to fuel the Mississippi economy."
In addition to these construction milestones, the Mississippi Public Service Commission's independent monitor recently completed a thorough review and filed a report in which they agreed that the Kemper County energy facility is the most economic option when compared to converting this facility to natural gas or building a new natural gas plant at one of the company's existing facilities.
"The independent monitor's findings lend further confirmation the project is the best solution for meeting Mississippi Power customers' long-term energy needs," said Anderson.
Mississippi Power, a Southern Company subsidiary, serves approximately 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties with rates well below the national average.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning completion of the Kemper integrated coal gasification combined cycle facility ("Kemper IGCC"), costs of construction of the Kemper IGCC facility and related customer price impacts. Mississippi Power cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Mississippi Power; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Mississippi Power's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; current and future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings, or inquiries; available sources and costs of fuels; ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities; advances in technology; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations, including rate actions relating to fuel and other cost recovery mechanisms; regulatory approvals and actions related to the Kemper IGCC, including PSC approvals, potential U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees, the South Mississippi Electric Power Association purchase decision, utilization of investment tax credits, and the outcome of any further proceedings regarding the PSC's issuance of the certificate of public convenience and necessity; the ability of counterparties of Mississippi Power to make payments as and when due and to perform as required; interest rate fluctuations and financial market conditions and the results of financing efforts, including Mississippi Power's credit ratings; and the impacts of any potential U.S. credit rating downgrade or other sovereign financial issues, including impacts on interest rates, access to capital markets, impacts on currency exchange rates, counterparty performance, and the economy in general, as well as potential impacts on the availability or benefits of proposed U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees. Mississippi Power expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.