South Mississippi Electric Power Association

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South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SME) serves seven member systems, including Coast, Dixie, Magnolia, Pearl River Valley, Singing River, Southwest Mississippi, and Southern Pine. Additional cooperatives joined the Association in September 1980: Coahoma, Twin County, Delta, and Yazoo Valley Electric Power Associations[1].

On June 22, 2010, the board of SME said they will vote June 30 on a proposal to buy a stake in the $2.88 billion IGCC Kemper Project coal plant planned for construction by Mississippi Power Company. IGCC technology heats coal to convert it into a synthesis gas that is processed to remove sulfur, mercury, and other pollutants before being sent to a traditional combined cycle power plant to produce electricity. SME has negotiated an agreement to purchase a 17.5-percent interest in the 582-megawatt IGCC plant for about $450 million. Mississippi Power already supplies power to SME under an all-requirements contract covering from 750 to 950 megawatts.[2]

Existing Coal Plants

Plant State Year(s) Built Capacity
Morrow Generating Plant MS 1978 400 MW

Stake in the Kemper Project

"South Mississippi Electric is exploring the acquisition of an interest in Mississippi Power Company's proposed Kemper County Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project, the Kemper Project.

The companies are negotiating a combination of a joint ownership arrangement and a purchase power agreement that would provide South Mississippi Electric with up to 20 percent of the capacity and associated energy output from the plant.

Mississippi Power has proposed building an electric power plant in Kemper County, Miss. that will capture 65 percent of carbon dioxide emissions. The plant will use Mississippi lignite coal to fuel the technology.

Pending Mississippi Public Service Commission approval, construction would begin in 2010. The proposed generation station is a 582 MW power plant that would begin commercial operation in 2014. South Mississippi Electric will also need regulatory approval from the Rural Utilities Service."[3]


On April 4, 1941, in a meeting held in the old Forrest Hotel in Hattiesburg, the now seven member Electric Power Associations chartered South Mississippi Electric. Plans for the first generating plant placed the facility in Columbia, with an office headquarters in Collins. Fuel sources for the plant generation were to be wood and timber waste products extracted from Southern Naval Stores. The plans were put on hold during World War II, and altered by 1958. South Mississippi Electric Power Association grew as a generation and transmission cooperative by constructing a coal-fired Morrow Generating Plant near Purvis, MS, a gas-fired generating facility at Moselle, MS, and purchasing a 10 percent undivided interest in the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, MS.[4].

Contact Information

South Mississippi Electric Power Association
P.O. Box 15849
Hattiesburg, MS 39404
Phone: 601.268.2083

Articles and Resources


  1. "SMEPA History", South Mississippi Electric Power Association Website, August 2009
  2. "SME May Buy Southern’s $450M Coal Stake", June 23, 2010.
  3. "South Mississippi Electric Association mulls stake in IGCC project" Electric Light and Power Website, September 16, 2009
  4. "SMEPA History", South Mississippi Electric Power Association Website, August 2009

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