NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Entergy utility customers took a huge step toward saving more than $1 billion Wednesday night when the Entergy utility operating companies completed the integration of their transmission system into the Midcontinent Independent System Operator or MISO, the Carmel, Ind.-based regional transmission organization. The transition to MISO is the culmination of more than two years of planning and preparation by MISO, the Entergy utility operating companies, and numerous stakeholders.
MISO is one of the largest regional transmission organizations — an organization that manages the flow of power on the grid and operates markets for the purchase and sale of electricity.
Entergy's utility operating companies — Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Mississippi, Inc., Entergy Texas, Inc., Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., and Entergy New Orleans, Inc. — have been working for more than two years to plan and prepare for the transition to MISO and to ensure their operating systems integrate seamlessly with those of MISO.
"While this event marks the finish line for hundreds of team members who've been involved in the integration, it's really just the starting gun in our journey to capture savings and benefits for our customers," said Tom Reagan, Entergy's vice president, RTO implementation. MISO membership is projected to save Entergy's customers $1.4 billion during the first decade alone.
For decades, the Entergy companies have been responsible for planning and operating the transmission facilities that deliver electricity to customers across their four-state service areas. With the integration into MISO, these functions will now be managed by MISO across its newly-expanded regional footprint. In addition, the transition to MISO will produce benefits to customers as a result of MISO's organized markets, which are expected to lower the costs of producing and delivering electricity. With the inclusion of Entergy's transmission system, MISO now comprises a network of electricity generators and users stretching from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
"The beauty of this operation is that despite its magnitude and scope, the cutover was —and is — completely seamless from the perspective of our customers," said John Hurstell, Entergy's vice president, system planning. "We have now increased reliability and started down the path of significant savings for our customers."
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, which equitably allocates the costs of transmission projects to those receiving the benefits from those projects.
The Entergy utility operating companies are among hundreds of industry participants — generators, municipal utilities, co-operatives and power distribution companies — that comprise MISO's new South Region. Within the region are 151 transmission customers, 128 electric generating plants and 11 transmission facility owners. Independent studies forecast meaningful economic value for electric co-operatives, independent power producers, municipalities and other industry participants, resulting from the move to MISO.
Entergy Corporation, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year, 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, 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 $10 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 this news release and in: (i) Entergy's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q 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; (e) legislative and regulatory actions and risks and uncertainties associated with claims or litigation by or against Entergy and its subsidiaries; and (f) economic conditions 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 subsequent securities filings.