About Us

A Timeline of 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.


  • Aug 7, 2018

    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018

    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018


    Southwest Mississippi Electric joins SME.

  • Aug 7, 2018


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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018

    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).

  • Aug 7, 2018

    August 29, 1967

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


  • Aug 7, 2018

    September 14, 1967

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


  • Aug 7, 2018


    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018


    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!

  • Aug 7, 2018


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


  • Aug 7, 2018

    August 1, 1970

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

  • Aug 7, 2018


    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018


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

  • Aug 7, 2018


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

  • Aug 7, 2018


    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018


    Construction of the Control Center is completed at Headquarters.


  • Aug 7, 2018


    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018

    April 16, 1980

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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018


    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018


    Unit 4 is constructed at Plant Moselle.

  • Aug 7, 2018

    August 20, 2003

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

  • Aug 7, 2018


    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018


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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    August 29, 2005

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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    September 7, 2005

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

  • Aug 7, 2018


    Unit 5 is constructed at Plant Moselle.

  • Aug 7, 2018


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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    May 2008

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

  • Aug 7, 2018


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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    December, 2010

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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    April 1, 2011

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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018

    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.

  • Aug 7, 2018

    December 18, 2013

    SME integrates into MISO, a regional transmission organization.

  • Aug 7, 2018


    Five 100kW small-scale solar installations at Member system locations

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

  • Aug 7, 2018

    April, 2016

    SME celebrates its 75th Anniversary.

  • Aug 7, 2018

    Nov 9, 2016

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

  • Mar 11, 2021

    December, 2017

    Cooperative Energy and partner Origis Energy USA begins commercial operation of a 52 MW solar facility in Lamar County.

  • Mar 11, 2021

    March 30, 2018

    The original combustion-turbine unit at Benndale Station is retired

  • Mar 11, 2021

    November 17, 2018

    R.D. Morrow, Sr. Generating Station in Purvis, Cooperative Energy’s only owned coal-fired plant, is retired from coal.

  • Mar 11, 2021


    Established the GoEV! electric vehicle program

  • Mar 11, 2021

    November, 2019

    Jim Compton retired after 15 years as CEO and Jeff C. Bowman took the helm, only the fourth CEO in company history.

  • Mar 11, 2021

    April 8, 2020

    The new Benndale Station in George County, Miss. begins commercial operation with two Wärtsilä 20-cylinder 31SG units.

  • Mar 11, 2021

    March, 2021

    Four new 100 kW sites are constructed at Member systems across the state.

  • Mar 24, 2023

    March 16, 2023

    The newly repowered R.D. Morrow, Sr. Generating Station begins commercial operation in Purvis, Miss. The new advanced class unit replaces the plant’s original two coal units. The plant uses natural gas to produce 572 MW of electricity.