The Mississippi Public Service Commission met Tuesday and voted to order Entergy to comply with several recommendations issued by an independent auditor hired by the commission.
The auditors, Liberty Consulting Group and Horne LLP, were tasked in 2019 with conducting audits of the fuel costs for Entergy. Liberty issued seven recommendations, but the commission's order in the issue only requires action on the first two that involve planning and dispatch of generation capacity between Entergy and regional transmission organization Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).
The company will have to submit an action plan regarding Liberty's recommendations within 30 days of the order.
The other recommendations by Liberty will be deferred by the commission and some of those include analysis of Entergy's coal, natural gas and fuel oil costs, evaluations of the company's power plant operations (from both a performance and maintenance backlog viewpoint) and an evaluation of Grand Gulf Nuclear Station.
A similar fuel audit of Mississippi Power that was contracted out by the PSC starting in 2019 was also the subject of another order. London Economics International and Carr, Riggs & Ingram carried out these audits on the Southern Company's Mississippi subsidiary. The commission said in its order that one of those recommendations can't be carried out due to the exit of Gulf Power (a former Southern Company subsidiary) from Plant Daniel in Jackson County in 2022.
The commission ordered the company and auditor to continue discussions about those issues, which include examination of unplanned outage hours for Mississippi Power's generation fleet, scrutiny of coal and natural gas burn forecast errors and another look at the target coal inventory required at Plant Daniel.
The PSC also approved unanimously a special contract between Mississippi Power and Hardy Technologies. The utility will provide 6,500 kilovolt amps of electricity monthly to the new lumber million in Lumberton at a negotiated price as part of an economic development package that has to be approved by the PSC. The mill is supposed to create 100 jobs.
The PSC also unanimously approved the request of Sprint Communications Company to cease telecommunications services within the state of Mississippi. The order issued by the commission was amended to ensure that the company met the requirements of the PSC order that approved the merger in Mississippi.
Sprint merged with T-Mobile Wireless three years ago.
The commission also approved the establishment of service and temporary rates for Great River Utility Operating Company to provide wastewater service to areas of Adams, DeSoto, Lamar and Warren counties.
The commission also tasked Chairman Dane Maxwell, who represents the Southern District, with conducting a report and hearing on a proposed solar facility, MS Solar 4 in Covington County. Maxwell will also conduct a hearing on the associated transmission facilities and switching station with Cooperative Energy, which has a power off-load agreement with the operators of the proposed solar facility.