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By Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi Power Co.’s $2.8 billion Kemper County power plant is one step closer to legal clearance.

Company spokesman Jeff Shepard tells The Associated Press that Harrison County Chancery Judge Jim Persons has denied a Sierra Club challenge to the plant’s license.

Shepard says Persons released the ruling late Monday. The environmental group is expected to appeal.

The Mississippi Supreme Court overturned the plant’s previous certificate. The high court agreed with the Sierra Club that the state Public Service Commission hadn’t given enough explanation for raising the plant’s cost cap from $2.4 billion to $2.88 billion. The PSC then granted a new certificate, and the Sierra Club challenged it, arguing it too was improper.

Mississippi Power, a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., already has spent $1.88 billion on its Plant Ratcliffe.

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