Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mississippi Power Abandons Proposed Coal Plant

Image courtesy of Mississippi Power Company

In a stunning but welcome announcement this morning, Mississippi Power Company - a subsidiary of the Southern Company - abandoned their proposed plans to build a 582 megawatt lignite coal plant in rural Kemper County, Mississippi.

"The more we looked at it, it just didn't make economic sense," said Andy Blackledge, Director of Corporate Communications. "With the price of solar and wind energy coming down and uncertainties about the cost and feasibility of yet-unproven carbon sequestration technologies, it was just a no-brainer."

Apparently, Mississippi Power has been quietly working with the Department of Energy for the past few months on an alternative plan to build seven new wind energy farms 25 miles off-shore in the Gulf of Mexico - a move made possible by a line item regulation change buried deep in yesterday's Executive Order by the Obama Administration to open up US coastlines for off-shore drilling - along with a state-of-the-art CSP (concentrated solar power) plant on the Kemper County site. Combined, the wind and solar plants are expected to generate 600 megawatts of electricity with none of the air quality issues associated with fossil-fuel energy generation.

"The important thing for everybody to know," added Blackledge, "is that we are withdrawing our request to the Public Service Commission for a consumer rate hike. Stimulus funds already awarded for the construction of the lignite plant along with profits from our current rate structure will be used to construct the wind and solar plants. We expect to hold rates at the current level for at least the next ten years."

Three cheers for Mississippi Power Company!!!


Deirdra Harris Glover said...

You had me hopeful for a few hours.

Jim said...

Wow! My appreciation goes out to Mississippi Power!! Thank you, thank you. I never thought I would see this day. For once a public service company has chosen to "do the right thing" for the public it serves. Again, thank you!!!

Eileen St. Lauren said...

James, I am so impressed with this and your ability to keeping pushing Mississippi in a direction that they cannot go wrong in--a direction called growth. Indeed, you are a wonderful writer. Mississippi is blessed to have someone like you to keep a watchful eye on Her.

michael kaiser said...

Although economic sense presents certain point of view, the general sense occupies all energy strategy. For example brasilian production of ethanol had no economic sense after first oil shock in 70´s. But today and in future years shall Brasil get big profit from at that time builded infrastructure. All came with army program, not directed by "economic sense". Just strategy.

James Polk said...

Nice insight, Michael. In the long run, it pays to implement alternative energies before a painful crisis demands it.