Entergy Corporation Proposes Joining Regional Transmission Organization

Analysis shows Midwest Independent System Operator will provide potential customer savings of more than $1 billion over a ten-year period

Apr 25, 2011, 07:00 ET from Entergy Corporation

NEW ORLEANS, April 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) announced today that, based on comprehensive review and analysis, it has concluded that joining the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) will provide meaningful long-term benefits for the customers of the Entergy operating companies. The Entergy operating companies will provide detailed analysis supporting these conclusions to their retail regulators in May and anticipate submitting formal proposals to those regulators later this year, with a target implementation date for joining MISO of December 2013.

MISO is an independent, nonprofit, Regional Transmission Organization that supports the reliable delivery of electricity in 13 U.S. states. Regional Transmission Organizations are independent entities that manage and operate the transmission system within a specific geographic area. With Entergy as a member, the footprint of the organization would extend from the Canadian Border to the Gulf of Mexico.

Over the past decade, Entergy has carefully evaluated a number of alternatives regarding the best management structure for its transmission system. Most recently, Entergy has worked with the Entergy Regional State Committee (E-RSC), a committee formed by the retail regulators of the Entergy Operating Companies, to evaluate joining an RTO (either the Southwest Power Pool (SPP)  or MISO) or enhancing the current Independent Coordinator of Transmission (ICT); an arrangement where SPP serves as the ICT.

With leadership and input provided by the E-RSC, as well as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the joint effort was intended to evaluate alternatives that not only would achieve savings to the customer, but also provides greater transparency in the marketplace and independence in the decision making process. Entergy received and appreciates the substantial support and efforts of SPP as the ICT and as facilitator for the E-RSC effort and it looks forward to a continued close working relationship with SPP in the future.

One of the advantages of joining MISO is becoming a part of its already established "Day 2" market, or a centralized market-driven dispatch process. This process creates a large wholesale market for the buying and selling of electricity, creating a substantial portion of savings for the customers. The study done by Entergy included independent analysis of the savings and actual proposals from SPP and MISO on how certain costs would be shared. The study concluded that joining MISO could save customers more than $1 billion in power production costs for the 2013 to 2022 timeframe. While both MISO and SPP were assumed to have a Day 2 market, only MISO currently has an operating market today.

"The analysis clearly shows there are compelling benefits to joining a regional transmission organization with substantial scale and a Day 2 market," said J. Wayne Leonard, Entergy's chairman and chief executive officer. He added "An organized market design based upon centralized auction markets creates greater efficiencies than one that relies upon bilateral trading, particularly in electricity markets where some congestion is always present. We look forward to discussing in detail the benefits of joining MISO with regulators, their staffs and other stakeholders in the months ahead. As the analysis showed, MISO's substantial scale and established market made it the clear choice for customer benefits."

Regulatory Filings and Next Steps

On or before May 12, the Entergy operating companies will submit a report to their retail regulators containing the detailed information and analysis that forms the basis for their recommendation. After this initial submittal, the Entergy operating companies anticipate submitting formal proposals with their respective retail regulators later this year, with a target implementation date for joining MISO of December 2013.

"Continued discussion with regulators and other stakeholders regarding this complex and important matter is a key part of the process," said Leonard. "The operating companies will conduct technical conferences, meetings, and other informational activities to outline why our comprehensive analysis led us to conclude that joining MISO is in the best interests of our customers."

The Entergy operating companies are Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Mississippi, Inc., Entergy New Orleans, Inc., and Entergy Texas, Inc.

Entergy Corporation is 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 and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.

For more information, Entergy's online address is www.entergy.com

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, 2010 and ‬ (ii) 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, and (e) legislative and regulatory actions, and 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 in subsequent securities filings‬.

SOURCE Entergy Corporation