JACKSON, Miss. (AP) â¿¿ Mississippi Power Co. asked the state Supreme Court Monday to overturn regulators' rejection of a rate increase. And while that appeal is going on, the company wants the high court to allow it collect the additional $55 million from customers.
The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. would have to refund the money if the court rejects its appeal. Mississippi Power put up a bond to guarantee it could refund the money. It also asked the Supreme Court to take quick action, waiving its right to a hearing on the rate increase request.
The rate increase would pay debt costs on the coal-fired power plant Mississippi Power is building in Kemper County. The Public Service Commission voted 3-0 last month to deny rate increases during construction as long as legal action by the Sierra Club is pending against the plant.Typical residential customers would pay about $20 a month more during the rest of 2012. Mississippi Power would have to seek fresh authority to raise rates in 2013. The plant is supposed to start operating in 2014. The appeal came as the company confirmed that the cost of the plant has risen to $2.8 billion. That's the ceiling of what the Mississippi Public Service Commission has said it might allow the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. to charge customers. An independent monitor now estimates that the plant will cost $2.8 billion, Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley said. That's above the $2.7 billion estimate the monitor made last month. Mississippi Power originally estimated the plant would cost $2.4 billion. The appeal and new cost estimates mean a new round of drama over the plant, under construction north of Meridian. What Mississippi Power calls Plant Ratcliffe would mine a soft form of coal called lignite, convert it to a gas and burn it to generate power.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV