Tuesday, July 2, 2013

BOONDOGGLE - Mississippi Power announces more overruns likely on Kemper plant

I'm "shocked" that this happened yesterday: 
Mississippi Power Co. warned Monday that costs are still increasing at the power plant it's building in Kemper County.  
The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. told stockholders that an ongoing review of costs at the coal-fired plant has initially identified at least another $160 million in cost increases.  
Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, a consistent opponent of the plant, said the additional cost overruns are "very disturbing." 
"Not once have we received good news that things are coming in under budget," said Presley, a Democrat. 
Under the settlement, Mississippi ratepayers will have to pay for $2.4 billion of the plant's price, plus pay for up to another $1 billion in bonds that Mississippi Power won't make a profit on. That's not counting the additional hundreds of millions for costs of the mine and pipeline. 
The PSC voted 2-1 to approve a 15 percent rate increase to start paying off the plant's debt even before it begins operations, followed by an additional 3 percent increase in 2014. Mississippi Power has said it's likely in 2014 to seek an additional increase of at least 4 percent over 20 years to pay off the bonds.
Gotta love that good ol' Republican corporate welfare.  I can just hear the chatter in the back room at Tico's now:
What's that you say, Mississippi Power?  Oh, you can't find investors to help you build an insanely expensive AND experimental power plant?  Folks won't lend you money to build it because none of them think it will work as advertised?  Well, let us Republicans here on the Public Service Commission put our Mississippi consumers on the hook for you!  They're gullible, and we'll just tell them it's "economic development".  So quit worrying.  Just keep picking up the tab for these steak dinners, ok? Waiter, can I get another bottle of that merlot? I'm sorry, Mississippi Power.  Throat was getting dry.  Look at it this way, if this whole thing doesn't work out, these rubes I represent will just pay for it anyway. 
Mississippi "conservatives": using the common man as grist for the mill since 1817.

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