LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) issued an order supporting Entergy Arkansas' change of control request to join regional electric grid operator MISO. The APSC found that MISO and Entergy Arkansas substantially complied with the conditions previously outlined and may move forward with integration into MISO.
The APSC directed MISO to file proof that proposed changes to the MISO governance structure, intended to give state regulators more authority, have been implemented. Once MISO has made this filing, the APSC will issue a final approval.
"Today is a major step forward for electric customers throughout Arkansas and all of the Entergy service area," said John R. Bear, President and CEO of MISO. "The APSC laid out a series of conditions for MISO to address, and through collaborative discussions with stakeholders in the MISO and Entergy region, we were able to meet those conditions. I especially would like to thank both the Organization of MISO States and our transmission owners for their work in addressing these items."
Entergy Arkansas has estimated that, as a result of MISO membership, $263 million in benefits will be available to Arkansas ratepayers over a 10-year period. Entergy Arkansas will have access to MISO's proven Day 2 market, which provides reliable, efficient and economic dispatch of electricity.
"We appreciate the hard work by the commissioners, their staff and the other stakeholders involved in this process," continued Bear. "Today's action will provide greater reliability and lower costs throughout the state as we move toward full system integration."
The action by the APSC is the latest development in Entergy's integration into MISO. Yesterday, the Texas Public Utility Commission voted to conditionally approve Entergy Texas' request to join MISO. The Texas PUC concluded that the request is in the public interest. A diverse group of stakeholders — including the PUC staff, Texas Industrial Energy Consumers, East Texas Electric Cooperatives, NRG Energy, Southwestern Public Service Company, Texas State Agencies, and the Coalition of Entergy Cities — supported Entergy Texas' bid to join MISO.
Additionally, the Louisiana Public Service Commission has already approved Entergy Louisiana and Entergy Gulf States' request to join MISO, subject to conditions. In Mississippi, several parties, including the Mississippi Public Service Commission staff, have agreed that Entergy Mississippi's move to MISO is in the public interest. Finally, productive discussions continue with parties in the City of New Orleans proceeding.
MISO ensures reliable operation of, and equal access to high-voltage power lines in 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. MISO manages one of the world's largest energy markets, with more than $23.6 billion in gross market energy transactions annually. MISO was approved as the nation's first regional transmission organization in 2001. The not-for-profit 501(C)(4) organization is governed by an independent Board of Directors and is headquartered in Carmel, Ind., with operations centers in Carmel and St. Paul, Minn. Membership is voluntary.