NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Five Entergy utilities took a key step toward membership in a regional transmission organization Friday via submission of the executed transmission owner agreement to the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator or MISO.
The utilities – Entergy Mississippi, Inc., Entergy Texas, Inc., Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C, and Entergy New Orleans, Inc. – follow Entergy Arkansas, Inc., which submitted its executed TOA to MISO Oct. 31.
The TOA is a contract among the MISO transmission owners that governs a transmission owner's membership in the RTO. The agreement is filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and executing the agreement is a key requirement for any transmission owner to join the RTO. By executing the TOA, the Entergy operating companies have agreed to become transmission owning members of MISO, subject to the terms of the agreement.
Friday's action is an important step in the Entergy operating companies' efforts to transfer functional control of their transmission facilities to MISO in December 2013, a step that the utilities' retail regulators have ruled is in the public interest, subject to conditions. The Louisiana Public Service Commission made its ruling in May, followed by Arkansas and Texas regulators in October. In mid-November regulators in Mississippi and New Orleans made their rulings that joining MISO is in the public interest.
Joining MISO is expected to result in savings to the customers of the Entergy operating companies of a projected $1.4 billion in the first decade of MISO membership. Independent studies also forecast significant economic value for electric co-operatives, independent power producers, municipalities and other industry participants, resulting from the move to MISO.
MISO is the oldest and one of the largest regional transmission organizations – a firm that manages congestion on the grid and operates sophisticated markets for the purchase and sale of electricity. The savings projected with MISO are largely attributable to its organized power markets, which allow for a more efficient commitment and dispatch of generating plants, to economies of scale offered by an RTO of MISO's size, and to MISO's transmission cost allocation methodology that equitably allocates the costs of transmission projects to those receiving the benefits from those projects.
The operating companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation's leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.
In this news release, and from time to time, Entergy Corporation makes certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, Entergy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties. There are factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including (a) those factors discussed in: (i) Entergy's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011; and (ii) Entergy's Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2012, June 30, 2012 and September 30, 2012 and (iii) Entergy's other reports and filings made under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; (b) uncertainties associated with rate proceedings, formula rate plans and other cost recovery mechanisms; (c) uncertainties associated with efforts to remediate the effects of major storms and recover related restoration costs; (d) nuclear plant relicensing, operating and regulatory risks, including any changes resulting from the nuclear crisis in Japan following its catastrophic earthquake and tsunami; (e) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy Corporation and its subsidiaries; (f) conditions in commodity and capital markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements, in addition to other factors described elsewhere in this release and subsequent securities filings; and (g) risks inherent in the proposed spin-off and subsequent merger of Entergy Corporation's electric transmission business with a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp. Entergy Corporation cannot provide any assurances that the spin-off and merger transaction will be completed and cannot give any assurance as to the terms on which such transaction will be consummated. The spin-off and merger transaction is subject to certain conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals and approval by ITC Holdings Corp. shareholders.
SOURCE Entergy Corporation