- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 6, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Regulators will meet June 21 to discuss a Mississippi utility’s request to hold rates level for its $7.5 billion power plant.

The Public Service Commission announced the meeting Tuesday. Mississippi Power said Monday it wants unchanged rates for 11 months to pay for Kemper County power plant costs that commissioners already approved.

The three-member commission is raising its legal spending cap from $200,000 to $2.5 million to pay for Kemper-related lawyers.

The subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Co. pushed back Kemper’s completion until June 30. It delayed filing a rate plan to pay for the entire plant.

Rates rose 15 percent in 2015 to cover $840 million of Kemper equipment that’s generating electricity using piped-in natural gas.

Customers could be asked to pay $4.3 billion. Southern shareholders have lost $3.1 billion.

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