Questions about the abrupt departure this week of Mississippi Power President Ed Day are likely to be asked during the annual meeting of Southern Co. stockholders today in Pine Mountain, Ga.
Representatives of the Sierra Club said in a conference call Tuesday they will use the shareholders’ meeting as an opportunity to ask about the cost overruns at the power plant under construction in Kemper County and the leadership changes at Mississippi Power.
On Monday, Mississippi Power announced Day was retiring. Two weeks ago, Tommy Anderson, vice president of generation, also left abruptly.
“We want to know who’s running the ship,” said Sierra Club regional representative Glen Hooks. He said his group also wants to know the true nature of the Kemper County plant’s cost overruns.
“We’ve just begun our investigation,” said Leonard Bentz, chairman of the state Public Service Commission. His chief of staff, Jay McKnight, will serve as special investigator. Bentz said the PSC has had open discussions with Southern
Co., “and we’ve been assured that there will be cooperation.”
Ed Holland, lead attorney for Southern Co., parent company of Mississippi Power, has taken over as president of Mississippi Power. Holland said in a statement Monday information the PSC requested was not provided.
“There was no intentional withholding of information,” Holland said. Executives decided to communicate the information in a meeting, he said, but failed to follow through. “We made a mistake of not delivering in a timely fashion,” he said.
Bentz said his agency first asked for the information a year ago. “We asked four specific times and we did not receive it until last week,” he said.
The documents no provided deal with a $366 million cost overrun announced in 2012 for the plant. In April, Mississippi Power announced the plant was $540 million more over budget.