SPP COO: Entergy’s plan to join MISO is not in public interest

Membership in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) is the best post-system agreement option for Entergy (NYSE:ETR) and the electric utility ratepayers of Arkansas, SPP Executive Vice President and COO Carl Monroe said in testimony with Arkansas Public Service Commission March 16.

Monroe’s testimony was filed in response to Entergy Arkansas’ application to transfer functional control of its electric transmission facilities to the Midwest ISO(MISO) regional transmission organization (RTO). It is his second testimony in the matter of Entergy joining MISO. The testimony focuses on the relevance of governance structure and harm to SPP if Entergy joins MISO.

In his testimony, Monroe states that MISO’s RTO governance structure does not provide the commission with authority or meaningful input. Rather, SPP’s governance structure is the only RTO structure that provides the commission with meaningful input and specific delegated authorities through the Regional State Committee (RSC).

Monroe also testified that the limited role and authority of the Organization of MISO States (OMS) in matters of transmission cost allocation, resource adequacy or regional transmission planning does not provide the commission with the authority and input that it described in Order No. 54.

Further, Carl’s testimony demonstrates that there is harm to SPP and its members if Entergy joins MISO, including increased congestion, as well as the need for and cost of market-to-market protocols in connection with the renegotiation of the joint operating agreement (JOA) between SPP and MISO.

Renegotiation of the JOA will be required if Entergy joins MISO, Monroe said.

Monroe also claimed that Entergy’s evaluation report, upon which the company’s application is based, is flawed.

In addition, Monroe said significant uncertainties exist with MISO, including the MISO-South Planning Region tariff filing (FERC Docket No. ER12-480-000), and uncertainties that exist related to the recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules.