Mississippi Power electricity rates are third highest in state, according to federal data
Mississippi Power's rates are third highest in the state of Mississippi and are 20.3 percent above the regional average, according to an examination of the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Twin County Electric Power Association and the Yazoo Valley Power Cooperative have the highest electric rates in the state. Twin County has a rate of 14.02 cents per kilowatt hour, while Yazoo Valley's rates are 13.76 cents per kilowatt hour. The state average is 11 cents per kilowatt hour.
The cheapest electricity in the state is Entergy's service area, which serves more than 373,000 customers in the middle and southwest part of the state. The rate for Entergy according to the EIA is 8.16 cents per kilowatt hour.
The cheapest municipal power system is Tupelo's, which charges 9.28 cents per kilowatt hour. The most expensive utility bill served by a municipal system is the city of West Point, which charges 11.25 cents per kilowatt hour.
Both buy their electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority, which provides power to 28 municipal and cooperative power systems mostly in the northeast third of the state.
Among the non-profit electric cooperatives, Prentiss County had the lowest rates at 9.41 cents per kilowatt hour. The cooperative there is a TVA customer.
The vast majority of Mississippi's electric generation capacity as of June 2018 is fueled by natural gas (4,355 megawatts) along with coal (644 megawatts) and other 159 megawatts from non-hydroelectric renewable sources, such as solar.
Not mentioned was the state's lone nuclear reactor. Entergy Mississippi's Grand Gulf nuclear power station was in a refueling shutdown from April 6 until July 12 and didn't get back to its 1,443 megawatt capacity until August 18.
Mississippi Power's more than 153,000 customers in southern Mississippi could've paid even more for their electricity if the company would've been able to get the full cost of the $7.5 billion Kemper Project clean coal power plant into rates.
Mississippi regulators approved a settlement with the utility in February that mandated that the company run it as a natural gas plant and that customers would never be charged for the problem-plagued gasifier units.
The gasifiers were supposed to convert lignite mined on site into a natural gas-substance called synthesis gas while removing some of the carbon dioxide.
Constant delays and cost overruns finally caused Mississippi Power's parent company, the Southern Company, to pull the plug last summer on getting the gasifer units operational.