CARMEL, Ind., Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, MISO, alongside a group of its current transmission owners, and Entergy Arkansas took steps to provide greater reliability and lower costs for Entergy customers. MISO and a majority of the MISO Transmission Owners submitted a joint filing of revised tariff language to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that allocates transmission costs upon Entergy's integration into MISO. Additionally, Entergy Arkansas made a formal request to Arkansas regulators to join MISO.
FERC previously instructed MISO to re-submit its proposed transmission cost allocation as a change to its tariff, rather than a waiver. MISO's fundamental approach is not materially different. Under the tariff change, existing MISO members will pay for projects that are underway or that benefit them exclusively. Entergy will pay for projects that benefit the company and its customers. MISO worked with stakeholders, including state regulators, for several weeks to have them review the tariff changes and incorporate their comments.
"Fair and equitable distribution of transmission costs is a big step toward making sure Entergy, its customers and current MISO members receive the benefits this initiative will generate," said John R. Bear, President and CEO of MISO. "Today's filing with the FERC demonstrates broad support for Entergy's integration into MISO."
MISO's transmission cost allocation plan seeks to ensure that Entergy only pays for projects that benefit Entergy customers and current MISO members only pay for projects that benefit current members. The MISO proposal is designed to assign transmission costs roughly commensurate with benefits. MISO's analysis provides that the addition of Entergy will provide benefits to all MISO participants.
"The filing seeks to achieve an equitable and balanced outcome for the current MISO membership and for Entergy," said JoAnn Thompson, Chair of the MISO Owners Committee. "The majority of MISO Transmission Owners support the tenets of this filing including standards for comparability, equitable cost allocation based on the principle that costs should be roughly commensurate with benefits, and preventing inappropriate cross-subsidization for either the existing MISO membership or Entergy."
In addition, Entergy Arkansas submitted an official "change of control" request with the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC).
"Entergy Arkansas took another important step toward making sure the company's customers receive the benefits of joining the MISO market," said Bear. "Those benefits are clear. Entergy's full integration into MISO will reduce customers' costs, while also providing the type of planning and infrastructure upgrades necessary to improve reliability and increase efficiency in the Entergy system."
In addition to Entergy Arkansas' filing, MISO also filed for a certificate of convenience and necessity with the APSC. This is largely a procedural step that allows MISO to operate in the State of Arkansas.
MISO ensures reliable operation of, and equal access to high-voltage power lines in 12 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. MISO manages one of the world's largest energy markets, clearing more than $27 billion in energy transactions in 2010. MISO was approved as the nation's first regional transmission organization in 2001. The non-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 in the organization is voluntary.