A Timeline of Our History

About Us

Our History

1935

Less than one percent of rural Mississippians have electricity. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt creates the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) by Executive Order.

1936

Congress passes the Rural Electrification Act, which provides low-cost loans to fund the electric power infrastructure in rural America.

1936 – The Mississippi legislature enacts the Electric Power Association Act to help foster the development of rural electrification in the state.

April 4, 1941

South Mississippi Electric (SME) was organized by Coast Electric, Jones County Electric (now Dixie Electric), East Mississippi Electric, Magnolia Electric, Pearl River Valley Electric, Singing River Electric, and Southern Pine Electric in a meeting held in the Forrest Hotel in Hattiesburg, Miss.

 

April 8, 1941

SME receives official Charter of Incorporation from the Secretary of State.

 

 

October 1941

The REA approves a $2.1 million loan for SME to construct a power plant fired by pine wood chips on the Pearl River in Columbia, Miss.

December 7, 1941

Pearl Harbor is bombed and the U.S. enters World War II. All non-war construction ceases, including construction of SME’s first plant.

 

1947

Southwest Mississippi Electric joins SME.

 

 

1958

The organization appoints J.T. Dudley, Sr. as part-time general manager.

 

March 1960

SME applies for its first Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in order to construct its first power plant. New plans are to build a natural gas-fired plant in Jones County, Miss.

 

 

March 1963

The Mississippi Public Service Commission issued to SME its first Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. This allows SME to construct its own generation assets.

Mississippi Power Company and Mississippi Power and Light oppose SME’s ownership of generation assets. A lengthy court battle ensues between SME and the investor-owned utilities (IOUs).

August 29, 1967

The REA releases funds to SME for the construction of the organization’s first baseload plant.

 

September 14, 1967

SME opens the first headquarters location in the Humble Oil Building in Hattiesburg, Miss.

1967

J.T. Dudley, Sr. completes his part-time role with SME. George B. Taylor, Sr. is named the organization’s first full-time general manager. SME hires its first employees.

1968

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses the requests of the IOUs to rehear or reverse the case, clearing the way for SME to build and own generation assets. SME WINS!

1969

Benndale Station, a natural gas-fired 16.2 MW unit, is constructed in George County, Miss.

 

August 1, 1970

Plant Moselle begins commercial operation in Moselle, Miss. The plant boasts three 59 MW, natural gas-fired generators.

1970

SME owns 730 miles of right of way and serves 100,000 members in 18 counties through 52 member substations. Member systems include: Dixie Electric, Magnolia Electric, Pearl River Valley Electric, Singing River Electric, Southern Pine Electric and Southwest Mississippi Electric.

 

1972

Paulding Station is constructed in Jasper County, Miss. The diesel-fired unit generates 20.6 MW.

 

1973

SME’s headquarters operations moves to its current location on Highway 49 in Hattiesburg, Miss.

 

 

1974

SME is awarded a $168 million REA loan for the construction of a coal-fired plant in Lamar County, Miss. SME purchases 17,000 acres in Kentucky for the plant’s fuel supply.

1976

Construction of the Control Center is completed at Headquarters.

 

1978

The R.D. Morrow, Sr. Generating Station begins commercial operation in Purvis, Miss. The plant houses two 200 MW units fired by Appalachian coal.

Coast Electric rejoins SME as a Member system.

 

April 16, 1980

SME agrees to 10 percent ownership of Grand Gulf Nuclear Station, the only nuclear plant to be constructed in the state.

September 24, 1980

Coahoma Electric, Delta Electric, Twin County Electric and Yazoo Valley Electric join SME. SME now serves Mississippians from the Coast to the Delta.

1985

Grand Gulf Nuclear Station becomes commercially operational in Port Gibson, Miss. The one unit nuclear facility produces a total capacity of 1,250 MW. SME’s capacity is 125 MW.

George B. Taylor, Sr. retires. Henry Thomas is named SME’s second full-time general manager.

1997

Unit 4 is constructed at Plant Moselle.

 

 

 

August 20, 2003

Plant Moselle is dedicated to J.T. Dudley, Sr. and renamed the J.T. Dudley, Sr. Generation Complex.

 

2003

Sylvarena Station is constructed in Smith County, Miss. The site boasts three natural gas-fired units producing a total capacity of 141 MW.

George B. Taylor, Sr. Generating Station is constructed in Jefferson Davis County, Miss. The site’s three units generate 250 MW fueled by natural gas.

 

2004

Henry Thomas retires. James Compton is named SME’s third full-time general manager.

 

 

August 29, 2005

Hurricane Katrina strikes Mississippi and wreaks havoc on the SME system.

 

September 7, 2005

Service is restored to all Member substations a mere nine days after Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

 

2006

Unit 5 is constructed at Plant Moselle.

 

 

2008

The Field Operations Center is completed five miles north of Headquarters and dedicated in honor of Henry Thomas.

 

May 2008

SME becomes a charter member of the National Renewables Cooperative Organization.

 

2009

Headquarters Control Center moves from its original location to the John Carley Operations Center.

 

 

December, 2010

SME’s annual sales exceed 10 million MWh for the first time.

 

April 1, 2011

SME assumed generation responsibilities for thirteen Member delivery points in the MPC transmission area totaling approximately 150MW of load.

 

 

October 15, 2012

The Moselle Repower Project enhanced the existing generation resources at the J.T. Dudley, Sr. Generation Complex (Plant Moselle), improving the efficiency of two of the plant’s original three 59 MW steam units by 35 percent while adding approximately 160 MW of new capacity.

December, 2012

The Batesville Generating Station is purchased in Panola County, Miss. The natural-gas fired facility houses three units capable of producing a total of 837 MW.

December 18, 2013

SME integrates into MISO, a regional transmission organization.

 

2016

Five 100 kW solar sites are constructed at Member systems across the state.

2016 – Legislation is passed to revise the Electric Power Association Act to recognize generation and transmission cooperatives such as SME.

April, 2016

SME celebrates its 75th Anniversary.

 

 

Nov 9, 2016

SME changes its name to Cooperative Energy to reflect its growing service to the state of Mississippi.

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