Mississippi Power: Changing demand, changing technology


As a result of changing electricity demands, Mississippi Power has retired its first electric generating facility, which has been in operation almost 70 years.

In 1945, when the 67.5 MW Plant Eaton went online, it supplied electricity (primarily for lights, radios and refrigeration) to around 40,000 customers. Back then, electricity was utilized primarily for lights, radios and refrigeration. Today, the number of Mississippi Power customers has increased more than fourfold to approximately 186,000.

"Plant Eaton was a very high-tech facility when it began operation and has been a tremendous resource for Mississippi Power customers," said Ed Day, president and CEO of Mississippi Power.

To meet today's needs, the company will rely on the new Kemper County power plant, which is currently 75 percent complete and expected to go online in May 2014. Later this year, the mine, which will supply homegrown Mississippi lignite to the facility, will begin operation. Lignite, a soft type of coal, will be mined next to the plant then stripped of carbon dioxide and other chemicals through a process of converting the lignite into a gas and burned for energy, ultimately producing a cleaner form of coal.

 "Just as the company planned for the future when Plant Eaton was built, we are doing so today by advancing 21st century coal technology at the Kemper County energy facility," said Day. "The facility is the best solution for our customers and will provide environmentally responsible energy for many decades."

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