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Testing milestones reached at Kemper

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SOURCE Mississippi Power

GULFPORT, Miss., July 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Workers at Mississippi Power's Kemper County energy facility successfully reached two major testing milestones: testing of the combined cycle unit and pressure testing of both gasifiers. The successful completion of the tests is an indication of continued progress on putting both pieces of equipment into service.

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Recent testing of the combined cycle included successfully running the unit using natural gas to validate its ability to make electricity. When the plant is fully operational, the Kemper combined cycle will use synthesis gas - converted from lignite - to make electricity. A combined cycle unit is among the most efficient forms of generating electricity for large-scale power production.

"This is a major accomplishment toward our goal of placing the combined cycle into service before the end of summer," said Vice President of Generation Development John Huggins. "Employees on site have worked many hours to ensure safe and successful tests, and we're proud of the hard work they've done to get us to this point."

Another major test took place this summer associated with the plant's two gasifiers.

Before the first gasifier heat-up can take place later this summer, pneumatic pressure testing had to be done. The tests ensure the safety of all of the gasifiers' assembled parts, check for any leaks and ensure the gasifiers can handle the air and gas pressure of start-up. The gasifiers at Kemper are the core of the integrated gasification process, which will be used to convert lignite into synthesis gas. Both gasifiers were tested successfully in May and late June.

"We are committed to safely testing every piece of equipment on site and will continue to do so throughout the plant's start-up phase," continued Huggins. "It puts us one step closer to bringing this innovative, 21st century coal project online for our customers."

The Kemper County energy facility will use innovative clean coal technology to deliver safe, reliable and made-in-Mississippi electricity to Mississippi Power customers. The 582-megawatt generating facility is scheduled to begin operation in 2015.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for more than 186,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Recognized throughout the utility industry for excellence in storm restoration and recovery efforts, Mississippi Power is the 2013 winner of the Edison Electric Institute's Emergency Assistance Award. As a leader in safety, Mississippi Power ranked first in the 2013 Southeastern Electric Exchange (SEE) Safety Performance Reports. Visit our websites at mississippipower.com and mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning the projected schedule for the completion of construction and start-up of the integrated coal gasification combined cycle project in Kemper County, Mississippi (the "Kemper IGCC") and expected benefits of the Kemper IGCC.  Mississippi Power Company cautions that there are certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Mississippi Power Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Mississippi Power Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: ability to control costs and avoid cost overruns during the development and construction of facilities, which include the development and construction of generating facilities with designs that have not been finalized or previously constructed, including changes in labor costs and productivity factors, adverse weather conditions, shortages and inconsistent quality of equipment, materials, and labor, contractor or supplier delay or non-performance under construction or other agreements, operational performance, delays associated with start-up activities, including major equipment failure, system integration, and operations, and/or unforeseen engineering problems; ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any operational and environmental performance standards, including any Mississippi Public Service Commission ("PSC") requirements and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology; the outcome of any legal or regulatory proceedings regarding the Mississippi PSC's issuance of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the Kemper IGCC, the settlement agreement between Mississippi Power Company and the Mississippi PSC, the March 2013 rate order approving retail rate increases consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement, or the State of Mississippi legislation designed to enhance the Mississippi PSC's authority to facilitate development and construction of baseload generation in the State of Mississippi; and the ability of counterparties of Mississippi Power Company to make payments as and when due and to perform as required. Mississippi Power Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking information.

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