Mississippi utility proposes three solar plants



Entergy Mississippi, electricity provider to more than 400,000 across 45 counties, has filed a plan for grid upgrades including three solar projects.

The plan has been submitted to the Mississippi Public Service Commission (MPSC) includes three 500kW solar plants, providing customers the choice of green energy and incentives for businesses, or making permanent a two-year rate discount for small businesses.

The proposed plans outline Entergy’s ideas for future grid improvements for reliability and stabilising upgrades to utilise new technologies, while maintaining MPSC’s workforce and preparing for the future.

The plan is for electric demand through to 2025 and is the first time Entergy has filed such a plan in almost 12 years; the plan would also seek to improve transmission and distribution and create new regulations to attract industrial sites – creating new jobs and spurring economic development, according to Entergy.

“Under this plan, we'll spend the next decade focusing on low rates, more jobs, more choice and smart investments,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO.

The upgrades require revenue that would cost most bill payers around US$0.20 a day, or just over US$6. However, Entergy has said the costs are likely to be offset by the removal of temporary taxes and other charges, to lower the impact to an estimated US$0.03 a day for most bill payers.

“We work hard to keep rates low and do not take any rate increase lightly,” said Fisackerly. “With the proposed increase, Entergy Mississippi rates are expected to remain both below the national average and among the lowest residential rates in the state and the Southeast.”

Entergy has said any increased cost will help keep rates down and flat in the long term for customers and it will not seek an increase in return funds from shareholders.

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