Mississippi Power employees have a long-standing record of being environmentally-minded. We are continually meeting our challenge to serve the ever-growing need for electricity while working to minimize the impact of electricity production on the environment. More than 100 employees have jobs that contribute to maintaining environmental compliance with all federal and state regulations. In addition, literally hundreds more volunteer each year on projects that help restore, conserve and protect our area's natural resources.
Mississippi Power has a long history of reducing emissions from our power plants while still meeting our customers’ ever-growing electricity demands. These investments equip our coal-fired power plants with the latest environmental controls to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury.
Dramatic reductions in sulfur dioxide emissions in the last several years are the result of installing "scrubbers." Scrubbers are systems that remove SO2 using limestone in the cleaning process, which produces gypsum—a material that has several uses, such as the production of wallboard or as fertilizer. These systems remove over 95 percent of the SO2 produced by the burning of coal.
In addition, Mississippi Power has made significant investments to reduce our emissions of nitrogen oxide.
Mississippi Power oversees 1,600 miles and 27,000 acres of transmission rights-of-way corridors in southeast Mississippi and we take pride in being good stewards of this property. We use Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) — a program that reduces the need for pesticides, promotes healthy ecosystems and can increase natural species diversity.
IVM techniques promote lush and stable native shrubs and grasses that don't interfere with overhead power lines or hamper maintenance access. It can transform a fragmented landscape into a wildlife-friendly corridor and safe haven for protected plants and animals.
Providing reliable electric service requires significant water resources, so Mississippi Power has a vested interest in using water wisely. We look for creative ways to conserve water and protect water bodies that serve us.
Not only do our processes meet or exceed regulations, we provide extra attention to the restoration and protection of natural wetlands and streamside buffers, which is critical to ensure clean water and stable shores that can sustain wildlife, habitats and communities.
As a result, the health and future of local waterways and wetlands is a top priority for Mississippi Power. Through our award-winning Renew Our Rivers program and the Five Star Restoration Program, we are helping to restore and protect rivers, wetlands and shorelines through partnerships with the community, employee volunteer efforts and investments in technology. These efforts reach from Okatibbee Creek, to the Chunky River, to the Leaf River, the Pascagoula, Biloxi Back Bay, and the Mississippi Sound.
Mississippi Power proudly participates in the Avian Protection Program sanctioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The program helps keep migratory birds safe from electrical equipment, including transmission lines and distribution substations. In addition to taking steps to reduce mortality risk to avian species, the program encourages ways to enhance avian populations or habitats, such as developing safe nesting platforms.
Mississippi Power follows transmission and distribution standards that are avian-safe, especially on smaller lines where conductors are closer together and insulator strings are shorter.