Electric association pursues part ownership of power plant

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - South Mississippi Electric Power Association, which is based in Hattiesburg, is pursuing minority ownership in a Mississippi Power plant that's being built in Kemper County.

South Mississippi Electric Power Association provides wholesale power to it's eleven member-owner associations. According to cooperative spokesman, Kurt Brautigam, those associations in turn serve more than 406-thousand Mississippi homes and businesses with that figure rising annually.

Brautigam said, "Our growth is at an average of one to two or more percent per year over the entire width of our system, that means you are going to need new generating facilities."

Brautigam said that is why South Mississippi Electric has entered into an asset purchase agreement allowing them to buy a 17.5% interest in the planned Kemper County plant. The association's board of directors approved the agreement on Wednesday.

"It will take coal, gasify it and burn it like it is natural gas. So it's much cleaner, you are able to remove a lot of the emissions before you burn the natural gas and we think that's important," said Brautigam.

Also important is the fact that the plant will provide a low stable fuel cost for an anticipated thirty plus years.

Additionally, the Mississippi Power Plant is located in a good area for South Mississippi Electric because Kemper County is close to the association's transmission system.

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