Miss. Power credit rating cut after rate rejected

By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A credit rating agency has cut its outlook for Mississippi Power Co. after the company’s attempt to collect money for a power plant was rejected.

Fitch Ratings said Tuesday that it is cutting the company’s main credit rating to A- from A, and also said it had a negative outlook for the future. That means Fitch could cut grades again.

Fitch said it made the move because the Mississippi Public Service Commission rejected Mississippi Power’s request for a $58.6 million rate increase last month. The money was supposed to start paying debt costs on the $2.76 billion coal-fired power plant that the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. is building in Kemper County.

The commission voted 3-0 to delay rate increases until the Sierra Club’s lawsuit against the plant is resolved.